PIERRE, South Dakota (STL.News) Whenever our state faces a major policy change, it’s the role of the state government to ensure that it is implemented and regulated in a way that best benefits the people of South Dakota. Our role is to create and administer a program that operates safely and effectively. This past week, legislative leaders and I announced our plan to guarantee a safe and effective program for medicinal marijuana.
This past Fall, voters strongly supported access to medicinal marijuana in our state. We’re committed to respecting that vote, and it’s our role to make sure that South Dakota patients have access to safe and accessible medicinal marijuana. In doing so, we will be taking into consideration every aspect of this major cultural shift.
Since starting to tackle this issue, the more that we’ve dug into it, the more that we’ve realized that there are still questions that need to be answered before this program takes effect. We know that we’re not experts in this area, so we contracted with the nation’s leading consultant – the folks at Cannabis Public Policy Consulting – to help us understand how to best implement this program. Our experts told us that they had never seen a safe and effective program stood up in under 8 months, the timeline set up by Initiated Measure (IM 26).