SD removes ‘medical purpose’ defense from cannabis law

A Florida-based software company will help South Dakota's cannabis industry and its regulators monitor the flow in the legal cannabis market.

One leading Senate Republican called the state’s voter-approved medical purpose cannabis law akin to a “magician’s hat” filled with surprises, as the South Dakota Senate voted 25-10 to strip an affirmative defense for residents who possess medical cannabis but don’t yet have a card.

“Why even have a law?” asked Sen. Timothy Johns, R-Lead, who rose to support Senate Bill 20 . “This is synonymous with a law that requires you to have motor vehicle insurance.”

Under the text of Initiated Measure 26, which was approved by over 70% of voters in November of 2020, an individual without a card issued through the Department of Health can belatedly produce evidence to show they have a medical purpose for using and possessing cannabis should they face a criminal charge.

Read the full story at the Mithcell Republic.