South Dakota House Health and Human Services Committee passes bill to limit access to medical marijuana; Next stop is House floor

FEBRUARY 10, 2023:

(South Dakota Broadcasters Association)- Consultations to obtain certification for medical marijuana would have to take place in medical facilities under a bill passed by the South Dakota House yesterday afternoon (Feb. 9, 2023). HB 1172 aims to stop so-called “pop-up clinics” held in hotel rooms and other locations.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Fred Deutsch of Florence, who has sponsored several bills restricting medical cannabis this session, said the bill was necessary to protect patients.

“Voters (in 2020) didn’t say allow “pop-up clinics,”‘ he said on the House floor. “Where is it people go to see their doctor? They go to the doctor’s office.” Deutsch alleges that “pop-up clinics” have been held in bars, strip clubs and hotel rooms. He says if a medical marijuana dispensary wants to provide an ad hoc clinic, it must do so in a medical facility, such as a doctor’s office, a hospital, a dentist’s office, a clinic or a similar facility. Deutsch says the marijuana dispensary could rent the space from the medical facility.

Currently, the bill does not address how home-bound or people in hospice in their homes could obtain medical cannabis. Deutsch says the Senate will offer an amendment to provide for that.

The measure passed 47 to 21.

It now goes to a Senate committee for consideration.


FEBRUARY 7, 2023:

(South Dakota Broadcasters Association)- Two bills placing more restrictions on medical marijuana pass the House Health and Human Services Committee this morning (Feb. 7, 2023).

One bill, HB 1172, requires a medical assessment of a patient in a licensed healthcare facility to obtain a medical cannabis card.

The other bill, HB 1129, requires that a doctor certify that they have assessed the patient’s medical history. It would also require the visit is not for obtaining a marijuana card unless it is a referral, and that any contra-indications of medical cannabis are indicated.

Both bills were sponsored by Republican Rep. Fred Deutsch from Florence. He said the first bill addresses “pop-up” clinics in hotels, storefronts, and other locations. “There are no regulations on clinic locations,” Deutsch said. “This would provide some modicum of regulation.” He said such clinics had been held in bars and strip clubs.

Jeremiah Murphy, a lobbyist for the medical marijuana industry in South Dakota, said HB 1172 arbitrarily reduces the number of facilities where potential patients can receive their medical marijuana card. He also said as odious as some locations might be, they are better than the alternatives. “The black market is where most marijuana is sold,” Murphy said. “The more you put people in front of doctors, the better.”

Opponents made attempts to kill the bills but were unsuccessful.

HB 1172 passed the committee on a 10 to 2 vote.

HB 1129 passed on a 9 to 4 vote.

Both measures now go to the House for further consideration.

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