South Dakota Set to Vote on Adult-Use Cannabis for Third Time

South Dakotans are set to vote – for the third time – on a new ballot measure that would legalize adult-use or recreational cannabis.

Adult-use cannabis first appeared on South Dakota’s 2020 ballot via an initiated amendment filed by former U.S. Attorney for the United States District Court of South Dakota, Brendan Johnson. However, a subsequent lawsuit highlighting procedural irregularities in the amendment process prevented the measure from appearing on the ballot.

A second attempt occurred in 2022 when a similar measure appeared on the state’s ballot via an initiated statute from advocacy groups. However, that measure ultimately failed with almost 53% of voters voting against the initiative.

Now, South Dakota’s November 2024 ballot is set once again to contain a measure legalizing adult-use cannabis. Started via petition, the measure creates and modifies various statutes allowing adults aged 21 and older to possess, grow, consume, and distribute cannabis and cannabis paraphernalia. The measure would also impose a variety of restrictions, including a possession limit of 2 ounces and a maximum number of 6 plants per person or 12 per household.

If passed, South Dakota will join 24 states that have already legalized marijuana for recreational use.

South Dakota is one of several states that will vote on recreational cannabis this fall. Ongoing efforts in other states, including North Dakota, may lead to additional measures on the November ballots as well.

All businesses in South Dakota, whether or not engaged in the cannabis industry, should be aware that adult-use cannabis will impact their operations.  Businesses should start preparing now by reviewing their internal policies and procedures regarding cannabis use. Employers should consult with experienced counsel to design and implement an appropriate cannabis use policy, as well as make sure their other internal procedures comply with state cannabis and employment laws.

Questions regarding your business’s cannabis-use policy? Contact us!

Walter (Chad) Blackham

With a practical approach, Chad provides compliance guidance and litigation defense on matters related to cannabis, advertising and marketing, teleservices, and other consumer protection issues.

2560 1707 Walter (Chad) Blackham
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