SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – Recreational marijuana is illegal in the state of South Dakota. Point.
Neil Fulton, dean of the University of South Dakota’s Knutson School of Law, said District Judge Christina Klinger’s February ruling that invalidated the change is still in effect pending a ruling by the South Dakota Supreme Court.
A decision not expected before July 1st
Fulton says that even if the Supreme Court overturned Judge Klinger’s ruling, South Dakotan would not be able to start recreational marijuana use immediately. “It’s the difference between the theoretical legality and the practical implementation of legal marijuana,” says Fulton, explaining the other legal and regulatory challenges that have to be overcome. “The first will take effect immediately – practical legality and availability will take some time.”
But all of these discussions are speculative, pending the decision of the South Dakota Supreme Court.
More specific is the future of medical marijuana. Implementation of the initiated measure 26 is to begin on July 1st. Similar to recreational marijuana, however, Fulton says its practical availability will begin much later than it is technically legal.
Because the state has until October 29, 2021 to enact a regulatory framework, with the issue of the first health insurance cards until November 18  and probably in  before the practical steps for implementation are in place, ”says Fulton.
Fulton says the state will have a number of variables to clarify by then, such as the conditions for using medical marijuana and how to review those conditions.
According to the state’s medical cannabis website, qualifying conditions that allow someone to consume medical marijuana must be a “debilitating disease.” This is defined as follows:
SD Ministry of Health publishes proposed administrative regulations for medical marijuana
“A chronic or debilitating disease or condition, or its treatment, that causes one or more of the following causes: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe, debilitating pain; severe nausea; Seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis. “
According to Fulton, this system will be similar to our current pharmacy process, but it won’t work in it.
“It will be a completely parallel process,” he says. “You have a certificate, not a prescription; You go to a pharmacy, not a pharmacy. It looks the same, but is different. “
For the latest information on issues, laws, and the legalization process in South Dakota, click here
While guidelines are in place, Fulton expects that the metrics that can certify will change as the program grows. “We will inevitably learn and adapt from practical experience,” he says.
“One thing I want to make very clear to people is that as of July 1st, there will be no legal form of marijuana available. There are steps to implementing [Initiated Measure 26]and Amendment A remains down, so don’t go out July 1st and have marijuana – it’s a real problem. “
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