South Dakota OKs adult-use cannabis after passing medical measure

Get insights on state ballot initiatives and all things Election 2020 for cannabis at MJBizCon. On Wednesday, our Election Week panel will discuss the results.

South Dakota became the first state in the country to legalize medical and adult-use marijuana simultaneously during Tuesday’s election.

In addition to handily passing Measure 26, which creates a medical marijuana market in the state, voters also passed Amendment A, the adult-use cannabis ballot item, with 53.5% in favor and 46.5% against.

The Washington Post called the contest with 90% of precincts reporting.

Melissa Mentele, executive director of New Approach South Dakota, said the success of both initiatives was crucial to cover the needs of all South Dakotans.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that often affects veterans and is a qualifying condition for MMJ in many states, but the Veterans Health Administration won’t recommend medical marijuana.

“Our veterans cannot be part of a statewide MMJ registry. So having adult use allows us to serve patients that couldn’t be under a medical program,” Mentele said. “A lot of adult-use states serve our vet population more than almost anyone.”

Both ballot issues will become law July 1.

– Kate Lavin

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