South Dakota


Neighboring states' marijuana laws show just how bad Iowa is

This year is set to be another big one for drug reform in the United States. Not so in Iowa, where politicians with old-timey views on science and personal freedom insist on preserving strict prohibition.

Take a look at the six states bordering Iowa, ranging from staunchly conservative to moderately liberal, and you can see how embarrassing the situation is. Iowa already has some of the region’s harshest criminal penalties for marijuana possession, and there’s a good chance we will look even worse by comparison at the end of 2020.


South Dakota Will Make Marijuana History Come November

Despite the drubbing that marijuana stocks took in 2019, it was still a year filled with cannabis firsts. We witnessed Canada become the first industrialized country to launch derivative pot products and watched Illinois do what New Jersey and New York failed to do -- legalize recreational weed while also passing an expungement clause for those people with previous cannabis possession or use convictions.


South Dakota Residents Will Vote On Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

 South Dakotans will vote this year on whether to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 years and older.

Secretary of State Steve Barnett said Monday his office has validated a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older and require the state Legislature to enact a hemp cultivation law.

Barnett said his office found the petition had enough valid signatures to put the proposal on the Nov. 3 ballot. A constitutional amendment requires 33,921 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.


South Dakota Voters Will See Medical Marijuana Question on 2020 Ballot

Voters in South Dakota will have another opportunity to legalize medical marijuana in 2020. 

The group spearheading the effort, New Approach South Dakota, announced Thursday that Secretary of State Steve Barnett that the petition to get the referendum on next year’s ballot had been ratified. 


Marijuana Legalization Could Be Coming To These States In 2020

This year has been momentous for cannabis reform, from the Illinois General Assembly becoming the first state legislature to pass a bill to regulate cannabis like alcohol to the U.S. House of Representatives passing the SAFE Banking Act and forging ahead with the MORE Act. 

It’s important to celebrate these victories, but with the end of 2019 comes the beginning of 2020, which is already shaping up to be the biggest year ever for marijuana-policy reform. 


South Dakota lawmakers look to legalize hemp in 2020

A panel of South Dakota lawmakers has approved a draft bill that legalizes hemp to be grown, produced, processed and transported in the state under certain conditions.

The Legislature's industrial hemp study committee voted to send the bill to the 2020 legislative session during a meeting Monday, Dec. 2, in Pierre.

House Bill 236 bill defines industrial hemp as "the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including seeds, extracts, cannabinoids, acids, salts and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannibinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis."


South Dakota: Lawmakers say they’ll try again on hemp in 2020

Some South Dakota lawmakers said Wednesday that they’re working on a bill for the 2020 legislative session that would pave the way for hemp to be grown in the state, putting them on a likely collision course with Gov. Kristi Noem.

Noem vetoed such legislation in March. Though the House successfully voted to override, lawmakers fell two votes short in the Senate. Both chambers are controlled by Republicans; Noem is also a Republican.


Gov. Noem again says no to growing hemp in South Dakota

Gov. Kristi Noem reiterated her opposition Tuesday to legalizing industrial hemp production in South Dakota, even in the face of new federal rules allowing the cash crop.

Hemp is seen as a possible boon by many farmers, but Noem said in a statement that legalizing it is akin to legalizing marijuana because it is difficult for law enforcement to distinguish between the two. But the governor also said South Dakota will allow the crop to be transported across the state in keeping with federal laws. The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week announced new regulations that allow farmers to grow hemp and ship it across state lines.


Legal cannabis may be coming to South Dakota

South Dakota groups submitted separate signed petitions Monday that would allow residents to vote next year on whether to legalize medical marijuana and recreational marijuana.

Monday was the deadline for submitting signatures to the South Dakota secretary of state’s office for measures for the November 2020 ballot.


South Dakota's hemp bill starting to take shape for 2020 legislative session

Lawmakers have begun writing a bill legalizing industrial hemp in South Dakota in 2020. 

The legislative Hemp Study Committee is building off the failed 2019 bill that would have legalized industrial hemp. However, the 2020 bill's language will be finalized after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announces its hemp program guidelines, which are expected by the end of the year, according to Rep. Lee Qualm, R-Platte. 

The hemp committee's meeting on Monday was the first time legislators gathered since Gov. Kristi Noem announced in a Wall Street Journal column that she plans to veto the hemp bill again in 2020 because law enforcement can't tell the difference between marijuana and hemp.

The tension between the two branches over hemp continued on Monday.


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