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Legalization | 02.24.2022

South Dakota Could Be The Next State With Legalized Adult-Use Cannabis

The South Dakota Senate just approved bills that would legalize an adult-use market, tax, and regulate cannabis. No word on when this might take effect.

Big news for South Dakota just hit; it looks like the state is just about ready to open its first legal adult-use market. Yesterday, the state Senate approved bills that would legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis

Furthermore, advocates got what they’ve been fighting for; one of the bills will expunge criminal records for non-violent and low-level cannabis crimes, reports Marijuana Moment

The day before the bills were approved, there was a separate House vote to withhold from creating a tax model and other regulations for an adult-use market, and Wednesday’s voters were in favor of bill SB 3 by a slim 18-17. 

South Dakota has had a sliver of hope for a recreational adult-use market for a couple of years now. In 2020, the state’s voters were in favor of marijuana legalization on the ballot, but when the governor’s office challenged that motion, South Dakota’s Supreme Court was quick to take it down. 

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The main bill that would open an adult-use market in the state is SB 3, sponsored by Sen. Michael Rohl (R). Marijuana Moment reports the Commerce and Energy Committee cleared the bill last week, and it’s currently making its way over to the House. There were a few bumps down the road, as one member almost called for a revote to reconsider, but alas, the lawmaker left the initial vote alone and allowed it to proceed to the House. 

Bill SB 3 would call for the following motions;

  • Legalizing adult-use cannabis sales in retail storefronts.
  • Allowing adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis from a licensed retailer.
  • Prohibiting growing cannabis on home residences, but that might change as the bill passes and goes into effect.
  • Giving licenses to sell marijuana only to existing businesses that are current holders of liquor licenses, meaning places like gas stations, grocery stores, liquor stores, and bars, reports The Argus Leader.

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There still isn’t a list of regulations for the forthcoming legalized South Dakota market, but the state Department of Revenue will handle that and create other rules regardings transporting marijuana and other issues. But, just like any other state, under the opt-out clause, individual municipalities can still decide if they want cannabis businesses in their area. 

While the bill would expunge criminal records for those with non-violent and minor cannabis crimes, those with a felony conviction will not be allowed to receive a cannabis business license. But again, this could change once the bill takes effect and lawmakers decide this ruling is unjust. 

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