South Dakota: Legislative efforts to delay implementation of voter-approved medical marijuana regulation fail

House Bill 1100, which aims to delay the implementation of Measure 26, the voter-approved access to medical marijuana law, was rejected on Wednesday after lawmakers failed to reconcile the differences between House and Senate proposals would have.

As a result, Measure 26 will go into effect on July 1, 2021, as voters intended when 70 percent of South Dakotans voted for the electoral measure in the 2020 elections.

As originally introduced, HB 1100, supported by Governor Noem and other lawmakers, attempted to delay implementation of the law for at least a year. However, the House legislature changed and approved the compromise language in which regulators were asked to begin issuing identification cards to patients by May 15, 2022 at the latest.

The move was further amended in the Senate to include provisions on the legal protection of patients who possessed medical cannabis prior to the new enactment of the law, as well as broader provisions that would have decriminalized up to one ounce of marijuana possession by all adults, regardless of medical status.

After the House legislature rejected the Senate’s amendments, HB 1100 was sent to the conference committee to reconcile the differences between the two versions, where the legislature ultimately failed to agree on a compromise.

Meanwhile, the fate of Amendment A, the voter-approved legalization of adult marijuana, 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 issue and therefore violates the state’s requirements for ” Single Subject Rule ”violates. Proponents of Amendment A have appealed today in the hope that the Supreme Court will overturn that ruling.

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