What’s next for marijuana in South Dakota?

Published: Nov. 5, 2020 at 6:38 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Now that South Dakotans voted to legalize medical and recreational marijuana, some may be wondering what the next step is.

Even with a win on election night for Amendment A, the drug will still be illegal in South Dakota for some time.

The South Dakota Legislative Session begins on January 12th, 2021, where lawmakers will break down Amendment A and make decisions on how marijuana will be legal when it becomes legal.

The South Dakota Department of Revenue must first decide how Marijuana will be taxed, then lawmakers need to decide things like how it will be sold and who can grow it.

“There’s a lot of different things. I’ve had phone calls from people wanting to know if they can put a greenhouse in their backyard or where they go get the application to file. There’s a lot of things that still have to be worked out,” said District 13 Senator Jack Kolbeck.

Brendan Johnson was involved in the writing of Amendment A, and says it was written to give individual cities the power to make certain decisions.

“We wrote Amendment A in a manner in which we’ll have really strong regulations in South Dakota and that’s the idea. We are also going to have a lot of local control, so what municipalities are going to have to decide is if they’re going to allow dispensaries in their community,” Johnson said.

Although South Dakota is the first state to legalize both medicinal and recreational marijuana at the same time, it is not the first to make it legal. Kolbeck says that will help lawmakers be prepared for July 1st, the day it’s set to be legal.

“The governor of Colorado came right out and said ‘hey South Dakota if you guys do not have an infrastructure set up, you’re going to have a mess.’ So, we need to get an infrastructure set up,” Kolbeck added.

Most importantly, marijuana isn’t legal in South Dakota quite yet. Amendment A says anyone over the age of 21 can possess up to an ounce of marijuana, and purchase it. It also specifies possession at schools

“As of right now constitutional Amendment A says that legalized marijuana is not allowed on any public school property,” said Kolbeck.

Kolbeck said he spoke with Brian Maher at the South Dakota Board of Regents today, and that’s another thing to keep in mind. How Marijuana will be handled on University Campuses?

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