SD Board of Regents adjusts policies ahead of medical marijuana implementation

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 5:20 PM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Board of Regents has adjusted its policies to account for the soon-to-be legal presence of medical marijuana in the state.

The policy revisions take into account an intersection between state and federal law on this topic, board officials said. The Board of Regents will continue to prohibit the use or possession of marijuana, including medical marijuana, on property owned or controlled by the board or at events hosted or sponsored by the board or any of its institutions.

The Board of Regents is the governing body for the state’s six public universities.

“Marijuana remains a controlled substance at the federal level, so we can’t allow it on campus due to two federal drug-free acts, which still have federal funding implications for our institutions,” said Brian Maher, the regents’ executive director and CEO.

The regents’ revised policy does not prohibit anyone who has a valid written certification for medical marijuana, from ingesting medical marijuana on other property not controlled or owned by the board. However, the new policies do place some limitations on individuals while they are on campus or working on campus.

When reporting to work, employees must not be impaired or otherwise unable to perform their work duties. Students attending class or participating in activities may not be impaired or otherwise disrupt academic or campus activities as a result of their off-campus medical marijuana use.

The revision in policy comes as many state agencies attempt to grapple with policies regarding medical marijuana. Currently, the South Dakota Board of Education Standards is reworking their proposed policies for medical marijuana implementation in K-12 schools, after their original proposal was unanimously rejected by a South Dakota state legislative committee. Additionally, the South Dakota Department of Health is in the process of putting together the rules and process by which both businesses and individuals could sell, grow, and ingest medical marijuana.

Despite the legalization date for medical marijuana in South Dakota being July 1st, the process by which to get a license through the state will not be set up until October 29th at the latest.