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Medical Cannabis Program Exceeds Expectations in South Dakota

SOUTH DAKOTA – The South Dakota Department of Health has surpassed projections by issuing approximately 11,500 medical marijuana cards since the program’s launch in 2021, far surpassing the anticipated 6,000 cards by 2024, according to a High Times report,

Jennifer Seale, administrator of South Dakota’s medical cannabis initiative, noted the unexpected surge before the state’s Medical Marijuana Oversight Committee.

“We’ve doubled the amount that we were projecting to see in three years within two years,” said Seale.

Despite the program’s success, committee members voiced unease over the ease of card acquisition.

“Doctors can make a hell of a lot of money just opening up their ‘Doc in a Box Shop,’ and that concerns me. That should concern everybody. I mean, come on. If we’re talking about medical marijuana, we should allow people that really need it to have access to it, and we should prevent people that don’t need it from getting access to it as well,” said Republican state House Rep. Fred Deutsch.

During this year’s legislative session in the state, lawmakers reviewed two proposals that aimed to place limitations on what are known as “pop-up” medical cannabis clinics. However, both measures were decisively rejected by the State Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

Additionally, South Dakota legislators endorsed a bill in January aimed at expanding the range of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis treatment within the state.

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