Legislators adopt rules for medical cannabis

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One of the proposals rejected by the legislature concerned the issue of home-grown cannabis. The Department of Health’s draft rule required that a doctor can certify whether a patient can grow marijuana plants and make a recommendation if they need more than three plants.

The South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations stated that doctors do not have the training or expertise to decide whether or not a patient can grow cannabis. Dell Rapids representative Jon Hansen agreed.

“When I read the law, I don’t see enough support for the idea that the doctor is supposed to be the doorman for the home-grown, or the crowd.”

Other legislative proposals asked the department to revise THC restrictions on smokable products, advertising restrictions, and packaging requirements for shipping cannabis.

Kit Jefferies is with Dakota Cannabis Consulting in Rapid City. He opposed the requirement that growers package and label cannabis for retail purposes before shipping it. He says this would ban growers from selling cannabis products in bulk. Jefferies says banning the bulk shipping of cannabis can lead to spoilage.

‚ÄúPatients end up with the short end of the stick because the product goes bad so quickly. So if you pack grams, eighths, ounces individually, this product has a shorter shelf life than if it could be packaged in large quantities. “

The Rules Review Committee approved Jeffries 5-1 to instruct the Department of Health to change the rules for packaging for transportation or sale.

The members of the committee voted 4 to 1 for the adoption of the remaining proposed rules of the department.