2020-21 Improvements and Recommendations

Despite the timeline from the state, there is one retailer currently open in South Dakota: The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe operate a dispensary on tribal land and have their own patient registry. For the first week of July as Measure 26 came into effect, residents from all across the state were signing up as patients under the tribe’s registry. This was shut down by the state attorney general who directed law enforcement officers to stop recognizing the legitimacy of medical cannabis cards issued by the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe to non-tribal members.

Amendment A would’ve allowed any South Dakota resident over 21 to possess, grow, and sell cannabis, but would no created the regulatory framework for a retail system. Instead, the constitutional amendment was designed to force the South Dakota’s legislatures to draft the laws for the retail system. Legislators won’t have to lift a finger to honor the wil voters, however, a South Dakota judge voided the will of the voters and struck the amendment down as unconstitutio

In 2022, ASA recommends the state approve the applications of as many operators as are feasible for the state’s infrast to handle and to keep the applications open for the foreseeable future. Too many states hurt patient access by limiting initial licenses given and refusing to license more operators as patient demand grows. This practice keeps demand and prices high and can severely limit retail access, South Dakota should avoid it. State legislators should also consider allo provisions that other states made to ensure access during the COVID-19 pandemic such as telemedicine for certificatio renewals, delivery, and curbside pickup.