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south dakota

south dakota Marijuana Laws

Amendment A legalized the recreational use of marijuana for individuals 21 years old and older. Under the measure, individuals are allowed to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. The amendment required the South Dakota State Legislature to pass laws providing for a program for medical

marijuana and the sale of hemp by April 1, 2022. South Dakota's supreme court ruled against recreational marijuana use as of November 2021.


If the city or county where the proposed medical cannabis establishment would be located has enacted zoning restrictions, a sworn statement certifying that the proposed medical cannabis establishment does not violate the restrictions

Some counties have  went forward with their respective processes. Meade County, SD has opened their license process starting October 29th. Licenses will be distributed based on a lottery system.

Individuals who live in a jurisdiction with no licensed retail stores can grow up to three marijuana plants in a private residence in a locked space, though not more than six marijuana plants could be kept in one residence at a time. Under the amendment, marijuana sales were set to be taxed at 15%. After the tax revenue is used by the Revenue Department to cover costs associated with implementing the amendment, 50% of the remaining revenue was set to be appropriated to fund state public schools and 50% would be deposited in the state's general fund.

Under the amendment, a local government could ban marijuana cultivators, testing facilities, wholesalers, or retail stores from operating in its limits. Under the amendment, a local government cannot prohibit the transportation of marijuana on public roads in its jurisdiction by those who are licensed to do so.

License Types

  • Cultivation License

  • Manufacturing License

  • Transport License

  • Retail Sales License

  • Cannabis Testing


The Department of Revenue has to meet an April 1st, 2022 deadline to have regulations regarding licensing and applications set in place.

Medical Marijuana Program

On Election day 2020, Measure 26 gained voter approval, allowing for a medical marijuana program to be established in South Dakota. Measure 26 will go into effect on July 1st, 2021. Rules for a medical marijuana program must be set before an expected October 9th, 2021 deadline.  


Measure 26 provides for multiple different medical cannabis licenses. 

  • Medical Cultivation license - an entity registered with the department pursuant to this act that acquires, possesses, cultivates, delivers, transfers, transports, supplies or sells cannabis and related supplies to a medical cannabis establishment. 


  • Medical Dispensary license - an entity registered with the department pursuant to this Act that acquires, possesses, stores, delivers, transfers, transports, sells, supplies, or dispenses cannabis, cannabis products, paraphernalia, or related supplies and educational materials to cardholders.


  • Medical Manufacturing license - an entity registered with the department pursuant to the act that acquires, possesses, manufactures, delivers, transfers, transports, supplies, or sells cannabis products to a medical cannabis dispensary.


The application and license fees will be set for all license types if the measure is passed into law, however application fees may not exceed $5,000.

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One year out from Election Day 2020, the South Dakota campaigns to legalize medical marijuana and adult-use marijuana took a major step towards ballot qualificationSouth Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws turned in over 53,000 voter signatures to qualify a constitutional adult-use legalization initiative for the 2020 ballot. On the same day, New Approach South Dakota submitted over 30,000 signatures to qualify a statutory medical marijuana initiative for the 2020 ballot. Read more coverage of the turn-in from the Associated Press and Marijuana Moment.

The constitutional initiative requires 33,921 valid signatures, while the statutory initiative requires 16,961 valid signatures. The Secretary of State and his staff will now begin the process of verifying the signatures. Both initiatives are expected to qualify, but there will be a tough campaign ahead. Despite significant support among a majority of voters, politicians in South Dakota have long resisted efforts to reform the state’s broken marijuana laws. 

Possession of just a small amount of marijuana in South Dakota carries a potential penalty of a year in jail and a $2,000 fine. Even more alarmingly, individuals who have consumed marijuana elsewhere are also subject to this penalty if they test positive for past use — even if they consumed marijuana in a state where it was legal. South Dakota appears to be the only state with such an “internal possession” law. In addition, possession of any amount of hash or concentrates is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Even just possessing drug paraphernalia, like a marijuana pipe, in South Dakota can land you a misdemeanor charge, up to 30 days in prison, and up to a $500 fine.

how to start a marijuana business south dakota

If you are just starting your marijuana business, the next best step is to start a Business Plan to help educate your team and be ready to apply for a marijuana business license. If you are ready to apply for a Marijuana Business License in South Dakota, please Contact us or call our offices to set an appointment to get started. You can also select another State Opportunity, or fill out our Contact Form to discuss potential strategies such as Investment or Partnership Opportunities. 

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