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Noem signs medical pot bills, placing a limit on homegrown

March 18, 2022 GMT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on Friday signed five bills to make changes to the state’s medical marijuana laws, including putting a cap on the number of cannabis plants that medical marijuana patients can grow in their homes.

The Republican governor cast the bills as part of her effort to implement a “safe and responsible” medical marijuana program that is focused on patients. South Dakota voters in 2020 enacted the law to legalize medical marijuana in the state, and Noem this year pushed for several changes to the program.

The voter-passed law placed no maximum cap on the number of plants that may be grown in patients’ homes, but lawmakers moved this year to limit the number to four: two flowering and two non-flowering. The number was a compromise after the Republican-controlled House proposed banning homegrown cannabis entirely, and Republicans in the Senate pushed a six-plant cap.

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Another bill Noem signed allows physician assistants and advanced nurse practitioners to recommend medical marijuana to patients. She also signed a bill regulating industrial hemp.

Lawmakers this year also debated legalizing recreational pot for adults. The proposal narrowly passed the Senate, but failed in the House. Noem had also weighed in to say she was opposed to full legalization.