Health officials release proposed medical marijuana rules

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Department of Health’s proposed rules for medical marijuana include a $100 annual fee for card holders and a $5,000 yearly fee for businesses that sell the cannabis.

The state health agency released 105 pages of draft rules this week that include license fees, the renewal process, packaging guidelines and security plans, among other things.

“The proposed administrative rules are one of many steps our department has taken to develop a safe and responsible medical cannabis program in South Dakota, as the voters intended,” South Dakota Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon said.

The businesses that sell medical marijuana would have to renew their commercial licenses every year.

Each employee of a commercial cannabis business would also have to be certified by the state health department and could not have violent offenses on their background report within the last 10 years, the Argus Leader reported.

While the initial application fee and the cost of renewing a medical marijuana ID card is $100, the draft rules include exemptions for low income individuals. The application and annual renewal fees are reduced to $20 for individuals at 130% or less of the federal poverty level.

The proposed rules require approval from the Legislature’s Rules Review Committee, which is expected to formally consider them in September.

Although a voter-passed law legalizing medical marijuana takes effect July 1, the state has until November to start issuing ID cards, meaning people wouldn’t be able to legally buy medical cannabis until then.