Wake up, Wake up, Its the first of the Month….Medical Cannabis is officially legal now in South Dakota. But the State has been slow to proceed with the implementation of IM 26 by July 1st when new laws typically go into effect here. State issued Medical Cannabis cards may not come until the Fall as official rules from the Department of Health do not need to be finalized until October 29. But never fear, the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe is here!!
The FSST is located in Flandreau South Dakota, a small town of just
over 2,300 people about 45 minutes North of Sioux Falls.
While the State may be dragging its feet to delay the will of The People ( 70% of South Dakotan voters approved IM 26 in November) one Tribe is ready for business today as the voters intended. The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe issued a press release on June 25th in it they say the Tribe has been preparing for months for the anticipated opening date of its Native Nations Cannabis Dispensary. The dispensary is located on the Tribe’s Reservation in a remodeled building just south of the First American Mart at 1314 S. Veterans Street, Flandreau, SD 57028.
First sales of cannabis products will to individuals who meet the requirements of the Tribe’s
medical cannabis ordinance. Medical clients will qualify for licenses if they have:
(a) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or
more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe, debilitating pain; severe nausea;
seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including, those characteristic of multiple
(b) Any condition that, in the opinion of a practitioner, a patient would likely benefit from the
use of marijuana, including, but not limited to:
(1) Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
Medical patients do not need to be members of the Tribe to obtain an FSST
medical cannabis card. The Tribe will honor validly issued medical marijuana cards issued by
other tribes, states, territories, or countries. The cost to apply for the license is only $50, compared to the $100 that the State has decided to charge. The application can be mailed in or delivered in person to the dispensary with the fee to be paid at that time. The link to apply for a license or print off the forms from the Tribe can be found here.
Fill out the application, and have it signed by a medical professional. The medical professional
needs to have the ability to prescribe medicine in the jurisdiction in which they are licensed.
The medical professional does NOT need to be licensed in the State of South Dakota.
In the release they stated that ” The Tribe is a sovereign government, and its existence predates the establishment of the United States of America and the State of South Dakota. The Tribe is within its legal authority to establish a regulatory scheme for the cultivation and sale of cannabis on the Flandreau Santee Sioux Reservation.”
If you are looking for a medical provider that will recommend Medical Cannabis, Sanford Health has stated Sanford doctors cleared to recommend medical marijuana, Avera Health is stalling and choosing to wait on the State guidelines. But… The FSST will allow Doctors recommendations from other States for a Medical Card. The Hedgehog Watchdog has you covered, you can visit this website and for the low price of $39 you can get a Doctors recommendation for use in Flandreau.
The State of South Dakota issued a press release of their own saying Medical Cannabis ID cards issued by Native American tribes won’t be honored by South Dakota State Troopers unless
someone is enrolled in the tribe issuing the cards.
The tribe’s attorney general says authorities who arrest non-tribal members who own a
tribe-issued medical cannabis cards would be in violation of SDCL Chapter 34-20G.
In a contradictory statement, the Noem administration says that it will fully comply with important patient protections contained in Measure 26 (these protections apply to anyone, even if they don’t have medical cannabis patient ID card).
South Dakota State Troopers will not arrest medical cannabis patients so long as:
“The individual possesses no more than three ounces of natural and unaltered marijuana, as defined by SDCL 22-42-1;The individual claims at the time of the interaction that the medical cannabis is to treat or alleviate a debilitating medical condition as defined by the Department of Health;The individual produces printed or electronic documentation relative to the debilitating medical condition from a licensed medical doctor.”
Some other good news today is that Minnehaha County and Lincoln Country, has effectively
decriminalized small amounts for all adults aged 21 and over, even if you don’t have a medical cannabis card!
Pennington County State’s Attorney Mark Vargo said his office will not be prosecuting any cases involving under three ounces of cannabis as it is cost prohibitive to do so. However the County doesn’t go as far as decriminalization so don’t expect a get out of jail free card out West.
To keep up to date with the lack of progress from the State of South Dakota please visit https://medcannabis.sd.gov/ for more information.