Lawmakers propose Senate Bill 3 for “the use and regulated sale of marijuana”

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – There will be a lot of talk about marijuana in Pierre this month.

As of Monday, more than 25 of the 38 bills posted for the Legislative session 2022 dealing with marijuana or medical marijuana. This is the second session of lawmakers after South Dakota voters approved both medical and recreational marijuana in the 2020 election.

Recreational marijuana was adopted in 2020 but has been challenged by Governor Kristi Noem (RS.D.) in the courts and ultimately overturned by the 4-1 State Supreme Court. Ahead of the release of the Amendment A decision, lawmakers on the Interim Marijuana Review Committee voted 14-10 to approve a bill now known as Senate Bill 3.

The bill is called “An Act providing for the controlled use and sale of marijuana” and contains 48 clauses over 30 pages.

Representative Hugh Bartels (R-Watertown) said 24 lawmakers have served on the Interim Marijuana Study Committee with the goal of educating more lawmakers on topics related to medical and adult marijuana. He served as vice-chair of the Interim Marijuana Review Committee and also sits on the Legislature’s Board of Directors.

“We drafted this bill just so that there was research being done on a way to regulate marijuana,” said Bartles, a major sponsor of SB 3. “Senate Bill 3 is also quite long, but the first 20 pages just cleans up the code. There are really only 10 pages of a marijuana bill. Rather than saying, no matter what the law says elsewhere, marijuana is legal, we actually cleaned up the law in this bill. ”

SB 3 would legalize possession of an ounce or less of marijuana by a person 21 years of age or older and reduce other penalties for possession of marijuana by a person 21 years or older. Currently, possession of two ounces or less is a Class 1 offense punishable by one year in prison and up to $ 2,000 in fines.

The bill also provides penalties for people under the age of 21 who consume marijuana or marijuana products. There are criminal penalties for anyone who is unauthorized or unregistered with the state who sells or distributes marijuana, as well as penalties for using marijuana while driving or in a public place or workplace. You can view the full invoice below.

Bartels said many lawmakers knew how their district voted on Amendment A.

“They’re still going to vote a bit from their hearts, but they’re also taking into account what people in their district thought,” Bartels said. “If the legislature and 105 members think it makes sense to pass it before the people’s vote, we probably will.”

Bartels added that he would not be surprised if the legislature delayed Senate Bill 3 for a year.

According to Office of the Secretary of State, petitions are circulating for a question in the 2022 poll for a measure initiated legalizing the possession, use and distribution of marijuana. Bartles noted that the specific voting measure only has six sections.

Bartels added that he believed voters may have been confused when medical marijuana was linked to Amendment A in campaign ads.

“The ballot initiative doesn’t really regulate marijuana, it just legalizes small amounts of it,” Bartels said. “I don’t know how this current electoral measure will do. We will have to wait and see.

Senator Troy Heinert (D-Mission), another member of the interim study committee, told KELOLAND News he believes the legalization of recreational marijuana will be a topic many lawmakers will discuss during the next session.

Regardless of future voting measures, Bartles said he encourages people to contact their elected officials about it.

“I get a lot of contact from people and I appreciate each and every one of those calls,” Bartels said. “It always makes sense to do that. “

More than 20 bills aim to overhaul the medical marijuana program

South Dakota’s medical marijuana program continues to advance in the state. The first state-issued medical marijuana card was issued to a resident of Day County in November. Cities and counties have started approving licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries, but no cultivation license has been granted by the state. More than 20 proposed bills seek to revise or repeal specific provisions relating to medical cannabis.

“There were issues in the 96 sections of the code that most people didn’t bother to read,” Bartels said of the medical marijuana law (IM 26) that passed. 70 to 30%. “There are about 20 bills to deal with this and I think maybe half of them will end up being passed by the legislature.”

Bartles said many of the changes to medical marijuana help clean up or correct the language of the 2020 law. He said he was sponsoring Bill SB 22, which revises the word “Department”. of criminal investigations ”in“ Criminal Investigation Division.

“There is no criminal investigation service. I have high hopes that one of them will be successful, ”Bartels said with a smile.

Another invoice, SB 25, creates the taxation of marijuana. This would require all marijuana to be taxed at 15% based on the mid-market rate.

Bartels said many bills have been proposed in the Senate, so the Senate Health and Social Services Committee would likely get the first glance at many bills.

“I think they were tabled early because they were summer bills and they’re ready to go,” Bartels said. “We will see how they come out of the Senate and what is left, we will consider in the House.”

Norman D. Briggs