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Medical marijuana advocates seek compromise on implementation

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 6:20 PM CST
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Medical marijuana advocacy groups are reaching out to legislators looking for a compromise. And looking for supporters to find a middle ground in getting legislation passed.

Not satisfied with the current language to HB 1100 and its amendment, New Approach South Dakota and South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws proposed a compromise in a press conference Monday. The proposal would change the language in HB 1100A, changing some deadlines for rules and regulations, as well as issuing I.D. cards to January 31st, 2022.

“And our hope is that come next January, maybe there are a few minor technical changes for the legislature to address. But our hope is that further delays to the deadlines aren’t necessary,” said Matthew Schweich, Director of South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws.

And the groups want to ensure legal protections are in place for patients starting July 1st of this year, with New Approach South Dakota Executive Director Melissa Mentele stating that it’s one area they do not want to deviate from the original measure.

“Patient protections have to be in place July 1st. We have to protect the patients of South Dakota, they’ve waited long enough,” said Mentele.

Schweich said although the groups would like to see medical marijuana implementation happen as quickly as possible, the compromise is a middle ground that legislators will hopefully be able to back.

“If we just dig our heels in, and offer no compromise and say, ‘Look, just on 1100 in any form.’ We fear that that might not work. And then we’re left with 1100A.” Schweich said.

Schweich said currently the groups are reaching out to various legislators to introduce their compromise as an amendment to HB 1100. Dakota News Now reached out to a handful of legislators for comment Monday but did not hear back before this story was published.

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