How Do I Get a South Dakota Medical Marijuana Card?

The South Dakota medical marijuana program is relatively new. However, by following these steps, you can quickly and easily get a doctor’s written certification and complete your MMJ card application.

Find a Licensed Physician

For many applicants, this is the most challenging step of the process. The number of doctors willing to certify patients in South Dakota remains low since the program is nascent. Therefore, you might find it difficult to locate a marijuana-friendly physician. However, they do exist, so you’ll need to persevere.


Schedule a Consultation

Once you find a doctor, it is time to book an appointment. Please note that completing a consultation online in SD is impossible, so it must happen face-to-face. During the meeting, the doctor will look at your records and talk about your potential usage of medical marijuana. You’ll need to prove that you have tried other conventional treatments that have not worked. The consultation will last between 10 and 15 minutes. If the doctor believes you are a good candidate for MMJ, they will provide a written certification.


Complete the Application Online

Once a physician certifies you in South Dakota, the state sends an email instructing you to create an online account with its medical marijuana program. You will need the written certification to complete the application. Submit it and wait for the South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) to review it. The DOH will send the MMJ card in the mail if it approves your application. Now, you can visit one of the state’s licensed marijuana dispensaries.

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How to Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in South Dakota
- A Step-by-Step Guide

  • Find a marijuana-friendly physician
  • Book a consultation
  • Discuss your usage of MMJ with the doctor
  • If approved, create an account with the South Dakota Department of Health
  • Complete your medical marijuana application online
  • Wait for the DOH to review your application
  • If approved, wait for the DOH to send your MMJ card in the mail

South Dakota Medical Marijuana Card Qualifying Conditions

In South Dakota, you are only eligible for MMJ if you meet the following criteria:

  • Aged 18+
  • A resident of South Dakota
  • Have one of the qualifying medical conditions

Patient Qualifying Conditions

South Dakota’s MMJ law states that only patients with a “chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition” are eligible. The list of qualifying conditions is short and includes the following:

  • Cancer
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • PTSD
  • Glaucoma
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy and seizures
  • ALS

Furthermore, patients can’t petition the DOH to add new qualifying conditions. Instead, only lawmakers have that option. Please note that South Dakota is the only state to explicitly forbid doctors from providing a written certification to pregnant or breastfeeding patients.

General Guidelines

As the South Dakota MMJ program only began recently, patients will doubtless have many questions. Keep reading to learn the most important information relevant to medical marijuana in SD.

Medical Marijuana Card Renewal in South Dakota

Your MMJ card is valid for 12 months. It is wise to begin the renewal process well before your card expires. It involves visiting a physician once again to get a written certification. Then you must complete the online application form and pay a fee of $75

Caregiver Rules

In South Dakota, MMJ patients can have caregivers. This individual must create an account and await DOH approval. Only applicants aged 21+ with no disqualifying felony convictions are eligible. Caregivers can help up to five MMJ patients unless their patients reside in a residential care or healthcare facility where the caregiver works. MMJ patients can only have one caregiver unless their certification letter clearly states that more than one is required.

A Brief History of Cannabis in South Dakota

The state banned marijuana in 1931, six years before the Marihuana Tax Act. In 1977, SD decriminalized the substance briefly, only to repeal the law almost immediately. Various attempts to get MMJ legalized in the state failed, including ballot initiatives in 2006, 2010, 2015, and 2018.

Finally, South Dakota residents had the chance to vote on a medical marijuana initiative, Measure 26, in December 2020. Almost 70% of voters said ‘yes’ to the measure, which was enacted in July 2021.

The state’s residents also voted ‘yes’ to a recreational marijuana bill, Constitutional Amendment A, in 2020. However, the state’s Supreme Court later struck it down, stating that the amendment was unconstitutional. In November 2022, a majority of residents voted against a recreational marijuana bill, Measure 27.

South Dakota Medical Marijuana Laws and Rules

As adult-use marijuana is illegal in SD, residents require an MMJ card to legally buy and possess the substance. South Dakota has yet to decriminalize marijuana, so possessing any amount is a misdemeanor that could lead to a one-year prison sentence. The possession of 2+ ounces is a felony, likely resulting in a year in jail if convicted.

The illegal sale of any amount is also a misdemeanor carrying a potential year in prison as the punishment. The sale of over half an ounce is a felony, whereas the sale of an ounce or more is a more serious felony; the possible prison sentence increases to five years.

The penalties for the illegal cultivation of marijuana in the state are based on the aggregate weight of the plants. Therefore, if your plants have over one pound of usable cannabis, you could spend up to 10 years in jail! Finally, the illegal possession of hash and concentrates is one of the most serious felonies, and if convicted, a decade’s worth of incarceration could result.

What Types of Cannabis Products Can I Purchase in SD?

MMJ patients in South Dakota don’t have to worry about major restrictions on what they can buy. They can purchase smokable marijuana flower, edibles, vape products, and concentrates, among other things.

How Much Cannabis Can I Buy & Possess?

The South Dakota MMJ program enables patients to buy and possess up to three ounces of marijuana flower.

Where Can I LEGALLY Purchase MMJ in South Dakota?

There are already dozens of licensed dispensaries in SD, and the number is growing rapidly. Legal sales of MMJ began in July 2022.

Can I Take My MMJ to a Different State?

No. It is a felony to bring marijuana across state lines, and South Dakota has no reciprocity program, so out-of-state MMJ cards are not accepted.

Can I Cultivate Medical Marijuana in South Dakota?

Yes, although you must pay an additional $20 and outline your intention to grow marijuana on the application form. By doing so, you can legally cultivate two mature and two non-mature plants at home.

FAQ About Getting an MMJ Card in South Dakota

How Long Does It Take to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in South Dakota?

The DOH says it reviews applications in the order it receives them. If approved, you’ll likely receive your MMJ card in the mail within 30 days.

What If I Don’t Get Approved After My Consultation with a South Dakota MMJ Physician?

Our partners operate on a no-certification, no-fee basis in the states they provide services. Patients who fail to get a written certification get a full refund.

How Much Does a Medical Card Cost in South Dakota?

The application fee is $75. However, patients that qualify for a low-income discount pay just $20. A doctor’s consultation ranges from $200 to $300 in most cases.

Can Minors Access MMJ in South Dakota?

Yes. In SD, individuals aged 17+ can apply for medical marijuana, and a parent or legal guardian must assist in the application process by completing certain fields on the form.

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