Today, Governor Kristi Noem and leadership in both chambers of the South Dakota state legislature announced a plan to implement Initiated Measure 26 (IM 26).
“We are working diligently to get IM 26 implemented safely and correctly,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “The feasibility of getting this program up and running well will take additional time. I am thankful to our legislative leaders for helping make sure that we do this right.”
The plan would add a year of additional flexibility on the implementation timeline and create an interim committee to meet and recommend solutions before next legislative session.
The state of South Dakota has consulted with industry experts Cannabis Public Policy Consulting (CPPC). CPPC has not seen a successful implementation of a medicinal marijuana program in just 8 months, the timeframe IM 26 currently requires. Some states take more than two years for successful implementation. To address this, the implementation plan adds additional flexibility to the timeline. This will allow the State of South Dakota to address several policy concerns and additional rules regarding IM 26.
“Our Senate leadership fully supports the effort to properly implement a workable medical marijuana program,” said Senate Majority Leader Gary Cammack. “We will honor the voters’ wishes.”
Furthermore, CPPC advises that no state in the country has ever implemented both a medicinal and a recreational marijuana program simultaneously. While the circuit court has ruled that Amendment A is unconstitutional, the state is still anticipating that the Supreme Court will have the opportunity to weigh in on this constitutional matter.
“There is no doubt that IM 26 passed in South Dakota, and it is fully our intention to honor the will of the voters,” said House Majority Leader Kent Peterson. “Based upon the experiences of other states, we know that it takes time to start implementing a safe and workable program. We will get the job done.”
HB 1100 was amended to be the vehicle for the plan’s passage. You can read CPPC’s guidance to the state on the implementation timeline here.