Jim Bowen

South Dakota Cannabis Activists Gearing up for 2018 Ballot Initiatives

Pro-cannabis activists in South Dakota are planning to introduce both adult-use and medical cannabis proposals for initiated measures to go to a statewide vote in 2018, according to a KCCR-AM report. A notary error forced a medical cannabis measure off of South Dakota ballots last year.

Melissa Mentele, chairperson of New Approach South Dakota, indicated the adult-use measure would bring in “lots of revenue for the state and for educators,” explaining that the group is waiting on a summary from state Attorney General Marty Jackley before they can begin circulating the petition to citizens. Mantele said that the medical cannabis bill is “very similar” to their 2016 measure and that the group kept much of the language in that proposal the same because of the support it garnered last election cycle.

“We keep getting weak legislation or legislation that really doesn’t reflect who we are as South Dakotans,” Mentele said in the report. “We’ve been focusing on these bathroom bills for two years. I think people are ready to have fresh conversations for things that are really going to benefit our state.”

Mantele estimates that a recreational market in South Dakota would generate millions of dollars in tax revenues for the state.

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