2020 Grade: F

2015 2016 2017 2018-2019 2020

2019-2020 Improvements and Recommendations

Following the federal enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill and 2020 state enactment of HB 1008, South Dakota developed a draft regulatory approach to in-state hemp production that it submitted to FDA in June of 2020. Once USDA approves the plan HB 1008 authorizes in-state production of industrial hemp and CBD oil, finally allowing legal access to patients using CBD for treatment. Meanwhile constituents continue to organize and drive policy reforms in South Dakota. In November, voters will decide via Measure 26 on whether to authorize the creation of a comprehensive medical and adult-use legal access system.

Should the ballot measure prove unsuccessful, ASA recommends that South Dakota lawmakers initiate work in 2021 focused on building a comprehensive medical cannabis program. Such a program should provide legal protections to patients related to employment, housing, education and family law. The system should also authorize an in-state production system for lab-tested medical cannabis and cannabis products that can be made available to patients at legal retailers. ASA also recommends that lawmakers authorize patients to cultivate cannabis at home to reduce costs to patients.


South Dakota is one of three states that has no form of medical cannabis access.  In 2017, Mount Rushmore State lawmakers did secure enactment of legislation (SB 95) that excluded CBD from the state’s definition of marijuana, and downgraded CBD from Schedule I to Schedule IV on the state’s list of controlled substances.  However, the new law did not authorize South Dakota hemp processors or CBD manufacturers to initiate production, provide for a licensing regime for these business activities, or establish a regulated patient access and registry regime.  Instead, South Dakota only permitted the sale of CBD that has been authorized for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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