There are over 2000 active Doctors in South Dakota. But only 90 have been approved to prescribe legal medical marijuana. Why?

Medical marijuana has been legal in South Dakota since July 1, 2021. Yet many political hurdles have gone up to make it tough for citizens to get access to legal marijuana to treat their medical conditions.

The population of South Dakota is just under 900,000. There are around 2,200 active practicing physicians in the state.

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So why are only about 4% of South Dakota Doctors “approved” to prescribe medical marijuana?

It could be all of the hoops they have to jump through to be “licensed to prescribe medication”.

Is there is any other legal drug that a licensed South Dakota Doctor has to have a special “approval” or “State Certification” to prescribe?

South Dakota legislators implemented a requirement that a person seeking medical marijuana must have an in-person visit with a doctor with which they have a “bona fide practitioner-patient relationship.”

This appears to address a situation where people seeking medical marijuana were getting prescriptions from online doctors.

According to SD.GOV, this is the 5 Step Medical Cannabis Patient Process if you want to seek help with treating a medical condition:

  1. Patient Schedules an appointment with their physician.
  2. A determination is made by the physician whether the patient would benefit from the medical cannabis. If yes, a medical certification is issued through the online portal for the patient. (Of course, your doctor would have to provide written certification and create an account with the State of South Dakota.)
  3. The patient receives an email to create an account for the state. Once complete the patient must wait for the South Dakota Department of Health to approve the account.
  4. Some applications, including minor patient applications, require caregivers to be registered. Caregivers will receive an email to create an account too. Once complete the caregiver must wait for DOH approval also.
  5. Once the patient or caregiver gets DOH approval a medical cannabis card will be mailed to the patient or caregiver. At that time the cardholder may purchase cannabis from a certified dispensary to treat their ailment.

That's all there is to it!?

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