South Dakota lawmakers, who have been divided on allowing home cultivation in the state’s medical cannabis program, have reached a compromise that is now headed to Gov. Kristi Noem’s desk, according to a Mitchell Republic report.
The state’s current medical cannabis law, which voters approved in the November 2020 election, allows patients to grow three or more plants at home, but the new deal reached by legislators would limit patients to four plants, two of which can be mature, Mitchell Republic reported.
The four-plant limit comes from recommendations from a legislative conference committee of three lawmakers from the House and three from the Senate who voted 4-2 on March 9 to approve the new cap, according to the news outlet.
“It's a compromise, if you will,” said Rep. Fred Deutsch (R-Florence), prior to the vote.
A study committee spent last summer reviewing the medical cannabis law approved by voters and ultimately recommended that the Legislature altogether ban patients from growing cannabis at home.
The issue has been debated in the statehouse ever since, with a House committee approving legislation earlier this year to prohibit home cultivation and a Senate committee passing a bill to allow patients to grow up to three plants mature plants and three immature plants.
“This comes a little bit more than halfway,” Deutsch said. “I think it's a reasonable compromise for the two chambers to come to.”
The compromise bill is now in the hands of Noem, awaiting her signature. If the governor vetoes the legislation, current provisions remain intact, allowing patients to grow a minimum of three plants at home.