South Dakota legislators on Thursday took a step toward making significant changes to the state’s medical cannabis program.
The Republican-controlled state Senate approved a bill that expanded the list of eligibility conditions for medical marijuana prescriptions, but transferred power to set those conditions from the South Dakota Department of Health to the legislature.
The bill was passed by a vote of 20 to 15, According to local news station KELOand the bill is now moving to the state House of Representatives, where again Republicans maintain a sizable majority.
Under South Dakota’s medical cannabis law, patients with any of the following “debilitating conditions” may use medical cannabis with approval from the Department of Health: Of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe debilitating pain; severe nausea; seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms.
Bill Approved by State Senate On Thursday, I’ll expand my debilitating condition list to also include: Positive status for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or human immunodeficiency virus. amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; multiple sclerosis; cancer or its treatment when associated with Crohn’s disease; epilepsy and seizures; glaucoma; or post-traumatic stress disorder.
The bill also removes legal language that gives the Department of Health the power to decide which debilitating conditions are covered.
The bill was approved by the Special Legislative Commission charged with overseeing state medical cannabis laws approved by voters in 2020.
Republican Senator Erin Tobin, who chaired that committee, said, “By removing the department’s power to set conditions and leaving it to legislators instead, we can have more confidence in prescribing medical marijuana to our patients. He said. Reported by Kero.
Reported by Kero “The department does not have medical professionals on staff to determine medical conditions,” Tobin said.
“This is what the Ministry of Health needs,” Tobin said. kero quotes.
Lawmakers who opposed the proposal argued that the bill approved by South Dakota voters in 2020 explicitly empowered the Department of Health.
South Dakota’s medical marijuana law officially took effect in the summer of 2021, but the state’s first licensed dispensary didn’t open until last year.
Some Republican lawmakers in the state are wary of the new medical marijuana law, arguing it could be a gateway for recreational cannabis use.
South Dakota voters rejected a bill to legalize recreational marijuana in South Dakota that started in November. This was a disappointing result for supporters who believed they had won two years ago.
In 2020, voters approved both a medical marijuana bill and an amendment to legalize recreational marijuana.
The amendment elicited an immediate legal challenge from South Dakota Governor Christy Noem, which was ultimately dismissed by the state Supreme Court in November 2021.
Noem celebrated the verdict.
“South Dakota is a place where the rule of law and our constitution matter, and that’s what today’s decisions are about,” Noem said at the time. What we do is just as important as what we do.We are still governed by the rule of law.This decision supports my administration of 2020 approved medical cannabis program voters. does not affect the implementation of