The South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations CEO, Tim Rave appeared on SDPB’s medical discussion program, “On Call with the Prairie Doc”, to discuss medical cannabis. The program took place March 31st with Rave providing an overview of legislation passed during the 2022 legislative session, specifically on the issue of medical cannabis.
In November of 2021 South Dakota voters approved Initiated Measure 26, which legalized medical cannabis in South Dakota. The law went into effect in July of 2021, with a system in place for individuals to apply to become a medical cannabis patient. This past summer, 24 lawmakers took part in a summer study committee looking at varies aspects of cannabis policy in South Dakota, with several bills introduced during the 2022 Legislative session. Guests on the March 31st “On Call with the Prairie Doc” panel discussion gave an overview what to expect with new medical cannabis policies now in place both for patients and providers. Rave explained the difference between certified and prescribed for viewers. “For certification specifically you go to your provider, you meet one of the 8-diagnosis that are currently in statute that would certify that you meet one of those conditions. Then you take that card and go to the dispensary.” Under the new law passed by the voters, a condition that allows a patient to use medical cannabis must be a “debilitating medical condition,” which is defined by SDCL 34-20G-1 as a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe, debilitating pain; severe nausea; seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis.
Rave and other members of the panel explained to viewers with the newly adopted medical cannabis policy now in place, the public can expect the program to evolve and grow. “There are 95 sections to the bill and it wasn’t a bill that went through the legislative process, it was a bill that went through the ballot. So people outside of that process created the bill, put it on the ballot and passed it as is because that is the process. It may continue to change as it evolves, and we learn more about it.”
Viewers were able to submit their own questions, that ranged from the latest policy regarding an individual’s ability to grow their own plants to what benefits users might expect for specific medical conditions.
Also joining the conversation, Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Vice President of Public Policy for Avera; Jeremy Daniel, PharmD with South Dakota State Universities College of Pharmacy & Allied Health Professions; Shawna Schmidt MD with Avera Medical Group Pain Management in Aberdeen; Tyler Jares, MD with Avera Medical Group Palliative Medicine in Sioux Falls.