A medical marijuana caregiver in South Dakota is an adult resident who has agreed to assist a medical marijuana patient. Under the South Dakota's Medical Marijuana Act, a qualifying patient may appoint a designated caregiver to assist in purchasing, carrying, cultivating, and administering medical marijuana as prescribed by a state-licensed physician. In South Dakota, a medical marijuana caregiver may help up to five qualifying patients. However, a caregiver may assist more than five qualifying patients if they reside in, or are admitted to, the same health care facility or residential care facility where the caregiver works. An employee of a healthcare facility or a residential care facility may only act as a designated caregiver on the premises of the facility if the facility's director approved the individual's appointment as a medical marijuana caregiver.
For minors qualifying for cannabis therapy, South Dakota requires their custodial parents or legal guardians to serve as designated caregivers and be responsible for the acquisition and dosage of marijuana for them as well as the frequency of cannabis use.
An individual seeking to become a designated caregiver in South Dakota must meet the following requirements:
Individuals who meet these criteria and have been nominated by qualifying patients will be registered by these patients. Once a qualifying patient has completed their registration on the South Dakota medical marijuana program, a designated caregiver will receive an email to create an account on the enrollment portal. After creating an account and completing their profile information, they may then upload all supporting documents, including:
The applicant then proceeds to verify the patient information associated with their application. Note that the applicant must also agree to a background check and submit their rolled fingerprint card to the Division of Criminal Investigation in person or by mail to:
Criminal Justice Training Center
1302 E Highway 14 Suite 5
Pierre, SD 57501-8505
South Dakota medical marijuana patients seeking caregivers may designate residents who are 21 years or older, including family members and friends. The South Dakota Medical Cannabis Program does not maintain a list of approved caregivers. Therefore, medical marijuana patients seeking caregivers must find these individuals and may get referrals from other medical marijuana patients.
A medical marijuana caregiver can buy, hold, and transport medical marijuana for their qualified patient. Per state law, a registered medical marijuana caregiver may possess up to 3 ounces of medical marijuana for each medical marijuana patient under their care.
Under the South Dakota Medical Marijuana Law, medical marijuana caregivers may cultivate six medical marijuana plants for each qualifying patient they oversee. However, a physician may authorize the caregiver to grow more marijuana plants in certain circumstances. South Dakota requires marijuana cultivation to occur in an enclosed secure facility at a physical address provided to the department during registration.