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South Dakota Draft Ballot Proposes Legalization of Adult Use Cannabis 

A new draft ballot initiative has been put forward in South Dakota that aims to legalize adult use cannabis – needing 17,509 valid petition signatures to qualify for the 2024 general election ballot.

The proposal would allow individuals 21 years old or older to possess, grow, sell, ingest, and distribute cannabis as well as possess, sell and distribute cannabis paraphernalia.

It also authorizes the South Dakota Department of Health to issue dual-use licenses to medical cannabis dispensaries to enable them to sell cannabis to persons 21 years or older.

The measure has been proposed by a resident of Rapid City, Emmett Reistroffer, Founder and Principal Consultant at cannabis consultancy firm Crosswinds Consulting LLC.

State law requires the Attorney General draft a title and explanation for each initiated measure, initiated constitutional amendment, constitutional amendment proposed by the Legislature, or referred measure that may appear on an election ballot.

Attorney General Marty Jackley has stated that he takes “no position on any such proposal for purposes of the ballot explanation” and has provided a “fair and neutral explanation on the initiated measure to help assist the voters.”

The measure has been submitted for public review by the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office.

As the explanation measure was filed on 17 November, 2023, the public has until 27 November, 2023 to submit comments, with the final explanation due to the Secretary of State on 7 December, 2023.

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