South Dakota lawmakers have approved the latest version of medical cannabis rules, paving the way for regulations to take effect before the Department of Health starts processing patient and caregiver applications next month, according to a KELO report.

The Legislature’s Rules Review Committee signed off on the regulations in a unanimous vote Oct. 26, the news outlet reported.

The rules will implement Initiated Measure 26, a medical cannabis legalization proposal that voters approved in the 2020 election.

The measure requires the Department of Health to begin issuing medical cannabis ID cards by Nov. 18, according to KELO.

The Legislature’s Rules Review Committee approved the majority of the regulations for South Dakota’s forthcoming medical cannabis program last month, but rejected six of the proposed rules, KELO reported.

Five of those six rejected draft rules, which were amended prior to going before the Rules Review Committee a second time, were approved in this week’s vote, according the KELO.

The latest regulations specify that a physician’s recommendation that a patient be allowed to cultivate more than three cannabis plants at home will expire 200 days after the date of the recommendation, the news outlet reported. Under IM 26, patients could grow a minimum of three plants per household.

The revised rules also stipulate that a physician’s recommendation for an expanded plant count must specify the reason for the recommendation, according to KELO.

The Department of Health launched the application process for medical cannabis business licensing Oct. 25, the news outlet reported, which follows the department’s issuance of guidelines for applicants seeking state and local licensure.

Meanwhile, South Dakota lawmakers are advancing an adult-use cannabis legalization proposal as the state’s Supreme Court continues to consider whether Constitutional Amendment A, which voters approved in the 2020 election, is valid.

The Adult-Use Marijuana Study Subcommittee voted Oct. 19 to recommend legislation that would allow adults 21 and older to purchase up to 1 ounce of cannabis for personal use. The full committee, which is studying both medical and adult-use cannabis legalization in South Dakota, is expected to consider the legislation in the coming days.