South Dakota Cannabis Laws + Possession Limits

by Kat Austin December 21, 2023 4 min read

South Dakota Cannabis Laws + Possession Limits - Vida Optima™

In South Dakota, cannabis laws have experienced significant shifts mirroring the changing trends seen nationwide. From strict regulations to growing acceptance of medical marijuana, the landscape of South Dakota cannabis laws is multifaceted. 

Join us as we delve into the intricate realm of regulations, uncovering details about possession restrictions, cultivation norms, penalties, and the intricate pathways for accessing and sharing cannabis within the state.

Key Takeaways

  • Cannabis is legal for medical use in South Dakota. 
  • Medical patients can buy up to 3 ounces of cannabis products. 
  • There are penalties for possessing more than the allowable amount of cannabis, for unlicensed sales, and for consuming in public spaces. 

Is Cannabis Legal in South Dakota?

Cannabis flower and concentrate, two forms of cannabis that may be available in legal South Dakota dispensaries.

In South Dakota, medical marijuana is legal under Initiated Measure 26 for individuals over 18 with specific medical conditions, allowing possession of up to 3 ounces. However, recreational use remains illegal after a 2022 ballot measure to legalize it was rejected by over 52% of voters.

Regulations for Medical Use

In South Dakota, medical cannabis is legal for those with a medical card. There are still laws and limits to follow, including that medical card holders may:

  • Buy up to 3 ounces of cannabis, including infused products, as approved by a physician
  • Grow up to three cannabis plants in their homes or up to six for residences with two or more adults, if they reside in an area with no licensed marijuana dispensaries
  • Travel with cannabis, within specified limits, in a vehicle as long as it is in a closed container that is in an area that’s out of reach to the passengers, such as in the trunk. 
  • Use cannabis if under the age of 21 with a doctor's recommendation. Users under 18 must designate a caregiver to purchase and administer cannabis. 
  • Consume cannabis in a private residence or approved medical facility. 

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Cannabis in South Dakota

The qualifying conditions for medical cannabis in South Dakota include:

  • Neuropathic Pain
  • Nausea
  • Cancer, including remission therapy
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Spasticity
  • Chronic, Severe Pain (from any condition)
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Intractable Seizures
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Dementia
  • Anorexia/Loss of Appetite
  • Movement Disorders
  • PTSD


In South Dakota, medical cannabis use is legal but regulated. Here are key restrictions:

  • Only medical marijuana is legal; recreational use is being contested in court.
  • Patients must be 18 or older with a medical marijuana card.
  • Possession limited to 3 ounces and growing up to 3 plants at home.
  • Prohibited on federal properties and cannot cross state lines.
  • Driving under the influence is illegal.
  • Distribution to those under 21 is prohibited.
  • Prohibited at schools, correctional facilities, or on school buses.
  • Smoking in public places, except licensed areas, is prohibited.

South Dakota Cannabis Laws

Approved Measure 26 for Medical Marijuana (HB 1100)

  • Establishes a medical marijuana program requiring certification from a licensed practitioner for qualifying health conditions.
  • Enables the Department of Health to set up registration for patients.
  • Allows local governments to establish further regulations on medical marijuana establishments.
  • Sets up licensing and regulations by the Department for cultivation, manufacturing, dispensaries, and testing labs.
  • Imposes strict rules on packaging, labeling, and advertising.
  • Authorizes patients to possess up to three ounces, plus allowances for infused products and plants.
  • Prohibits the sharing of patient information by the Department, except for rule enforcement.
  • Conditions for MMJ cardholders: 18 years or older, qualifying conditions, medical marijuana card required.
  • Allows patients to possess three ounces and grow three plants.
  • Highway Patrol rules on cannabis possession: exceptions for medical use under certain conditions.
  • Prohibits driving under the influence, smoking cannabis in vehicles, and in public places.
  • Employers aren't required to allow cannabis use in workplaces.
  • Penalties for transporting cannabis across state lines are severe.

Failed Amendment A in 2021:

  • The Court ruled Amendment A unconstitutional due to violating single-subject rule and elevating the State Department of Revenue.
  • Revised state constitution requires a constitutional convention by three-fourths of the state legislature.

2022 Initiated Measure 27:

  • Campaign for a new ballot initiative failed, proposing legal recreational use for those 21 and older, but was rejected by voters.

Penalties for Marijuana-related Crimes in South Dakota

Possession Penalties:

  • Vary from misdemeanors to felonies based on the amount possessed.
  • Maximum imprisonment ranges from 1 year to 15 years, with fines up to $30,000.
  • Civil penalties may also apply, reaching up to $10,000.

Sale Penalties:

  • Range from misdemeanors to felonies based on the quantity sold.
  • Mandatory minimum sentences and fines increase with subsequent convictions.

Cultivation Penalties:

  • Similar to possession and sale consequences, based on the total plant weight.

Hash & Concentrates:

  • Manufacturing, distribution, or possession with intent: Felony, up to 10-25 years imprisonment, max fine $50,000.
  • Enhanced penalties for proximity to specific areas.


  • Possession: Misdemeanor, up to 30 days imprisonment, max fine $500.
  • Sale: Felony, up to 5 years imprisonment, max fine $10,000.


  • Inhabiting a space where marijuana is used or stored: Misdemeanor, up to 1 year imprisonment, max fine $2,000.

Legal Cannabis and Buy Online Alternatives

Although cannabis is legal in many states, hemp-derived THC products are still rising as a noteworthy alternative thanks to their affordability and accessibility. Hemp-derived THC products are federally legal, unlike traditional marijuana products, meaning they can often be ordered online and shipped right to your door. 

Read “Is Delta-8 Legal? A State by State Guide to Delta-8-THC Laws” to learn more about hemp THC laws near you, then check out our Elev8 and Cloud9 Collections.

Vida Optima Cloud9 Delta-9-THC Gummies

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