Governor Noem has implemented the medical marijuana program in South Dakota, and it is operational today.
Governor Noem has always supported medical cannabis, believing that it should be available for South Dakotans once it received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While she is personally opposed to legalizing recreational marijuana, the Noem Administration has implemented one of the most well-run medical cannabis programs in the country.
Following the passage of medical cannabis by the voters, Governor Noem moved quickly to stand up a program according to the timeline outlined by the voters. The timeline was short -- only Oklahoma had implemented a medical cannabis program on a shorter timeline, and their program has been a disaster. Nonetheless, Governor Noem and her Department of Health got the program ready on time and ensured that appropriate safeguards for public health and safety were in place.
This past legislative session, Governor Noem signed dozens of bills sent to her by the legislature to place common-sense guidelines on the state’s medical cannabis program. These bills were primarily the result of a summer study conducted by the legislature, and the Governor was glad to work with the people’s elected representatives on these reforms.
The recreational marijuana measure currently on the ballot appears to be written in a constitutional fashion. If the voters pass it, Governor Noem will once again work with the legislature to enact it according to the will of the voters with appropriate safeguards for public health and safety.
When Governor Noem was sworn in, she took an oath to uphold the South Dakota and United States Constitutions. She reviews every piece of legislation and every ballot measure to ensure that it follows the Constitution, and she will continue to do so.