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420 with CNW — AG Releases Ballot Explanation for Measure to Legalize Cannabis in South Dakota at the Polls

Cannabis News Wire, Media Partners

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Last week, South Dakota’s attorney general released a ballot explanation for a prospective initiative that would legalize adult-use cannabis in the state and allow dispensaries to serve individuals aged 21 years of age and older. The resolution, which was sponsored by Emmett Reistroffer, would permit anyone aged 21 and older to cultivate, possess, ingest and distribute cannabis or cannabis paraphernalia. Reistroffer is the operations director at Genesis Farms, a medical marijuana company.

Under the measure, adults could also grow no more than 6 marijuana plants, with not more than 12 plants in every household; the can also possess up to three ounces of cannabis. It is important to note that driving while under the influence of cannabis would still be illegal, as would marijuana-related activity by those below the age of 21.

According to the final explanation by Attorney General Marty Jackley, property owners and employers could still prohibit the use of cannabis under the measure. Additionally, sales would occur via existing medical cannabis dispensaries, which could acquire dual-use licenses via the Department of Health.

With regard to possession, adults could possess no more than 24g of concentrated marijuana as well as other nonconcentrated marijuana products that contained less than 2,400mg of THC.

For the resolution to qualify for the 2024 ballot, organizers will need to collect no less than 17,510 signatures from registered voters by May 2024. Once placed on the ballot, a majority vote would allow the measure to pass.

In his latest statement, Reistroffer noted that he had no plans to campaign or collect signatures for the resolution in 2024 because he didn’t want to compete with the other legalization initiative that was already collecting signatures with the aim of being included in next year’s ballot.

Meanwhile, organizers for the other legalization proposal received the AG’s final summary a couple of months ago. The proposal, which is sponsored by South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, would allow those aged 21 years of age and older to distribute marijuana.  The initial form of this measure was amended to eliminate the word “sell.” This move made its language unclear, with the AG’s summary noting that legislative or judicial clarification was necessary.

A previous statement by Reistroffer highlighted some of the differences between his proposal and the South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws legalization measure. For instance, while his resolution included regulation and licensing via the health department, the other proposal did not touch on this matter.  Additionally, while Reistroffer’s proposal would establish a path to legal sales that would generate sales tax for the state, the other proposal would generate no taxes. Furthermore, while his proposal focused primarily on legal sales and regulations, the other resolution mainly centered on noncommercial legalization.

Many marijuana companies, such as Curaleaf Holdings Inc. (CSE: CURA) (OTCQX: CURLF), may take an interest in the way the push to legalize cannabis in South Dakota plays out as the rift between different campaign groups could harm the reform movement.

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