Members of the South Dakota House of Representatives voted 40-28 for House Bill 1100 today, significantly delaying implementation of Measure 26, the Access to Medicinal Cannabis Act, which was largely approved by voters in November.
As approved by the voters, measure 26 is expected to come into effect on July 21, 2021. House Bill 1100, backed by Governor Noem and other lawmakers, postpones this schedule until early 2022. As originally introduced, the law should delay the implementation of the law for at least a year. However, House Legislators agreed to an amendment to the bill that now calls on regulators to begin issuing identification cards to patients from May 15, 2022.
House lawmakers opposed a separate amendment, advocated by Proponents of Measure 26, which aimed to provide legal protection to patients who possessed medicinal cannabis prior to the new law coming into effect.
HB 1100 will now be forwarded to the Senate for further examination.
Yesterday, the South Dakota Senate also passed separate laws that provide the framework for implementing Amendment A, another voter-approved electoral measure to legalize and regulate the retail sale of marijuana for all adults. The fate of Amendment A remains unclear. Earlier this month, a Circuit Court judge ruled in favor of litigation sponsored by the Governor’s Office aimed at annulling Constitutional Amendment A as it covers more than one subject and therefore violates the state’s requirements for the ” Single Subject Rule ”violates. Proponents of Amendment A are expected to appeal this decision.
54 percent of voters voted for Amendment A on election day, while almost 70 percent voted for Measure 26. Republican governor Kristi Noem publicly rejected both election measures.
NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “The will of the voters is clear. They want a legal marijuana marketplace and they want patients to have access to medical cannabis as soon as possible. These cynical efforts to undermine and delay the implementation of these voter-approved measures are an affront to the voters to whom these legislators hold office. “
If you live in South Dakota Send a message to your senators against the proposed delays in the implementation of medical cannabis.