Licensed cannabis cultivation for medical use only is legal in the State of South Dakota by virtue of the South Dakota Codified Law (SDCL) Chapter 34-20G. However, SDCL 34-20G-58 allows local governments to determine the establishment of licensed medical cannabis facilities within their territories. In Minnehaha County, Ordinance MC 60-21 does not allow the establishment of any commercial medical cannabis cultivation facilities.
Holders of the medical cannabis card of the South Dakota Medical Cannabis Program are allowed, according to SDCL 34-20G-1 to cultivate up to two non-flowering and two flowering cannabis plants at home if their card indicates that they are permitted to do so. Home cultivation of medical cannabis must be done indoors in a locked space accessed only by the cultivator. Several qualified home cultivators residing in the same home may share one cultivating space.
Licensed cannabis product manufacturing for medical use only is legal in the State of South Dakota as mandated by SDCL 34-20G; but since SDCL 34-20G-58 allows local governments to decide for themselves regarding the permits for medical cannabis facilities within their jurisdictions, Minnehaha County’s Ordinance MC 60-21 prohibits any commercial medical cannabis manufacturing facilities.
The licensed retail selling of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products exclusively to medical cannabis cardholders by a licensed medical cannabis dispensary is legal in the State of South Dakota as mandated by SDCL 34-20G. Minnehaha County’s Ordinance MC 60-21 allows the establishment of only one licensed medical cannabis dispensary in the county.
SDCL 34-20G-1 states that a licensed medical cannabis dispensary is allowed to sell by retail medical cannabis, medical cannabis products, medical cannabis paraphernalia and supplies, and medical cannabis educational materials. Medical cannabis products include concentrates, extracts, oils, tinctures, edible goods, beverages, ointments, and other topical preparations, among others.
SDCL 34-20G-71 restricts the sale to every medical cannabis cardholding patient, directly or through a caregiver, to three ounces of medical cannabis in every 14-day period. SDCL 34-20G-70 requires the licensed medical cannabis dispensary to verify the purchaser’s identity through a valid government-issued photo ID card, verify the validity of the purchaser’s medical cannabis card, and ensure that the patient does not exceed the allowed purchase limits of medical cannabis.
A medical cannabis dispensary in Minnehaha County must first apply for a county license from the County Auditor’s Office and pay the required fees before applying to the State of Dakota’s Department of Health (DOH) for a medical cannabis establishment registration certificate. A hearing shall be held by the Minnehaha County Commission before a license may be granted.
The applicant for the county’s medical cannabis dispensary license must be the single owner of the business and must either own or lease the property where the dispensary will be located.
The applicant must certify the following:
At least one company board member or officer is a Minnehaha County resident.
The owner and all its board members, officers, prospective employees, and volunteers have passed a background check done within the previous 90 days, do not have a disqualifying felony offense, and are aged 21 or older.
The medical cannabis facility will be located in a zone approved for such use by the county and complies with any county requirements regarding its distance to any single-family home, church, school, park, or facility open to public use.
Once the county license has been granted, the application for a medical cannabis establishment registration certificate with the state DOH specifically for a medical cannabis dispensary must be completed. There is a $5,000 application fee for it. Both the county license and the state registration are valid for one year and must be renewed, subject to renewal fees. Operation of the licensed medical cannabis dispensary must begin not later than 60 days from the issuance of the state registration.
Minnehaha County’s Ordinance MC 60-21 requires the licensed medical cannabis dispensary to operate only from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. It must be closed on holidays. Use or consumption of cannabis is prohibited on the premises. The same premises may not be shared with any health practitioner.
The licensed medical cannabis dispensary must be indoors, shielded from public view, and must implement a system to ensure that no odors escape from the facility. The following are prohibited from being displayed outside the facility:
The word “marijuana”
The image of the marijuana leaf
Any image of a person holding marijuana
Any image of a person smoking marijuana
The licensed medical cannabis dispensary must comply with county codes on fire, buildings, parking, and signage. Entry must be limited to the licensed dispensary’s personnel, medical cannabis cardholders, emergency personnel, and authorized visitors. A record of all authorized visitors must be kept for a minimum of five years, containing each visitor’s name, the purpose of the visit, and the date and time of the visit. The record must be made available to local authorities.
To prevent unauthorized access and thievery, the licensed medical cannabis dispensary must be locked and equipped with an electronic security system that includes alarms and recorded video surveillance, with footage kept for at least 180 days. Access to the facility and medical cannabis must be monitored all the time. The facility’s interiors and exterior, including its parking lot, must be well-lit.
The delivery of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products by licensed medical cannabis dispensaries to resident and non-resident medical cannabis cardholders is allowed by SDCL 34-20G-1. Since Ordinance MC 60-21 allows the presence of a licensed medical cannabis dispensary in Minnehaha County, that includes the previously described delivery service. The ordinance requires the licensed dispensary to properly package and secure medical cannabis during transport.
The patient must first be examined by any of the following:
A doctor of medicine
A physician assistant
An advanced practice registered nurse licensed to prescribe human medication
The patient must be diagnosed with a chronic or debilitating medical condition that causes one of the following to qualify for the medical cannabis card:
Severe debilitating pain
Severe and persistent muscle spasms
Cachexia or wasting syndrome
With a diagnosis, the health practitioner will create a certification for the patient on the Medical Cannabis Program’s registry portal. The certification will indicate if the patient requires a caregiver.
An automatic email will be sent to the patient containing online application details. The patient must log into the portal linked in the email and change the temporary account password. Digital copies of the patient’s valid ID and passport photo must be uploaded. Patients who are minors need attestation from a parent or legal guardian on the online form. Patients who require caregivers, such as incapacitated adults, must fill in the details for the caregivers. If the patient intends to cultivate medical cannabis at home, this must be indicated on the online application.
The patient application requires a nonrefundable $75 fee that can be lowered to $20 if the applicant submits documented proof of having a low income. An additional $20 must be paid if the applicant wants to be authorized to cultivate cannabis at home. Also, $20 must be paid for every caregiver added to a primary caregiver named on the application form.
After the patient has submitted the online application, an email will be sent to the designated caregivers containing online caregiver application details. The caregiver must also log in through the link provided change the temporary password, and complete the application.
Non-residents of the State of South Dakota, or those who have been residents for fewer than 45 days, may apply for a nonresident medical cannabis card if they hold a valid medical cannabis card from another U.S. state or county, provided they submit all the required documentation. This is subject to the Program’s conditions for non-residents.
The approved medical marijuana card will be sent by mail.
For any queries, the public may contact the following:
South Dakota Department of Health
The South Dakota Department of Revenue (DOR) states that a sales and use tax of 4.5% is levied on medical cannabis statewide. Also, municipalities are authorized to levy a sales tax, use tax, and gross receipts tax. According to the DOR’s January 2023 Municipal Tax Guide, most municipalities of Minnehaha County charge a municipal sales tax of 2% and a gross receipts tax of 1%.
Minnehaha County’s Ordinance MC 60-21 which allowed the establishment of licensed medical cannabis dispensaries, was effective October 25, 2021.
Data from the Minnehaha County Sheriff's Office on the FBI’s Crime Explorer page shows that the year before, in 2020, there were 57 marijuana offense arrests, all for possession. There were 124 DUI arrests in that year.
In the latest available data, in 2021, there were 39 marijuana offense arrests, all for possession. There were also 124 DUI arrests in that year.