The measure sought to restrict patients from obtaining medical cannabis recommendations from anyone other than their primary care physician and/or certain healthcare providers recommended by their primary practitioner. Doctors who issued recommendations but who did not meet the bill’s narrow requirements would have been subject to criminal penalties.
Passage of the measure would have greatly restricted patients’ access to medical cannabis since many primary practitioners are either uncomfortable speaking with their patients about medical cannabis or work for HMOs that disallow them to do so. In some cases, patients lack primary care providers and receive their medical care through clinics.
South Dakota voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure legalizing medical cannabis access in 2020. Since then, lawmakers have routinely sought to repeal aspects of the law and/or significantly amend it.
Currently, over 13,000 South Dakotans are registered with the state to access medical marijuana products and over 250 practitioners are approved to issue cannabis authorizations.
Additional information on pending legislation is available from NORML’s Take Action Center.
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