A little more than a year after South Dakota voters overwhelmingly approved Initiated Measure 26, which legalized medical cannabis in the state, the first patient cards have been distributed.

The South Dakota Department of Health announced Thursday (November 18) that the first medical cannabis card had been issued to a resident of Day County.

As part of the rollout of the medical cannabis program, the state has launched MedCannabis.sd.gov, which provides information for patients, caregivers, and medical providers.

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The state has also created a 'Medical Cannabis Safe Storage' flyer which encourages program participants to keep their cannabis in clearly labeled, child-resistant, air-tight packaging.

Patients are advised to keep cannabis in a cool, dark place that is away from heat sources.

Initiated Measure 26, which is now officially South Dakota Codified Law 34-20G, was passed by a vote of 291,754 (69.92%) to 125,488 (30.08%) on November 3, 2021.

On that same ballot, South Dakota Amendment A, which sought to legalize recreational marijuana use in the state was approved by a vote of 225,260 (54.18%) to 190,477 (45.82%) but was later declared unconstitutional.

The sponsors of the amendment, South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, have filed an appeal with the State Supreme Court, and are currently attempting to gather enough signatures from voters to get the issue back on the ballot in 2022.

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