South Dakota Archives - Green Market Report

Debra BorchardtNovember 22, 2023


South Dakota is teeing up to be the next state to legalize adult-use cannabis. Attorney General Marty Jackley submitted the proposed measure to Secretary of State Monae Johnson on November 17. The draft summary of the measure was made public as required by state law so that the public will have 10 days to review and comment.

That gives South Dakotans until November 27 to write in with their thoughts on the measure. After that, the Attorney General gets another 10 days to write the final summary of the legislation, which would get submitted back to the State Secretary.

In order to get this legislation on the ballot in 2024, 17,509 residents will have to sign a petition in favor of the measure. As of 2021, the state had just over 800,000 residents.

In 2020, South Dakota voters passed Initiated Measure 26 which legalized medical cannabis. As of November 20, 2023, there were 254 approved practitioners and 12,791 approved patient cards. There are currently 90 medical dispensaries in the state.

Try Try Again

This isn’t the first time the state has tried to initiate adult use legislation. In 2020, South Dakota voters rejected an adult-use cannabis legalization ballot measure. According to Marijuana Moment, an earlier version was approved but that was ultimately invalidated by the state Supreme Court. The Governor has demonstrated that she isn’t a big fan of adult-use cannabis and polls in the state also show that supporters of the initiative have their work cut out for them.

Indeed,  there is a separate piece of legislation that would repeal the state’s medical cannabis law and yet another that would keep federally banned substances from ever being legalized in the state. The state attorney general finalized the ballot explanation for the medical marijuana repeal measure in August according to Marijuana Moment. South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws claim that the repeal legislation did not follow proper procedures and should be thrown out.

Medical Operators Get First Dibs

If the legislation were passed, current medical operators would be able to get dual-use licenses that would enable them to sell cannabis to people over the age of 21 for non-medical purposes. Municipalities won’t be able to stop adult use dispensaries from opening, but they would be able to limit the number of licenses.

Individuals would be able to grow up to six plants and households can grow up to 12 plants. In addition to that, it would still be illegal to drive while under the influence of cannabis or to possess and consumers would need to be over the age of 21.

Turning Point

There is significance in the South Dakota vote for the entire country. Since Ohio became the 24th state to legalize adult-use cannabis, if South Dakota were next that would mean half the country has voted to legalize adult-use cannabis. Comparing that to the end of alcohol prohibition, by 1933 there were 36 states that had approved alcohol consumption pushing the government to end prohibition with the 21st amendment.



1768000-1768309-nov 14 2023 mjj to johnson draft ag statement duel use marijunana licenses

StaffOctober 26, 2022


The Daily Hit is a recap of cannabis business news for Oct. 26, 2022.


South Dakota Moves to Restrict Medical Marijuana Program Further

A South Dakota state legislative panel this week gave initial approval to a bill that would restrict the MMJ program by making it harder to add qualifying conditions and by writing a handful of medical ailments directly into state law. If the bill succeeds, it may be the first time in the history of the U.S. marijuana industry that a state moved to restrict its MMJ program instead of broadening it. Read more here.

Verano Sued on Busted Acquisition

Verano Holdings’ (OTC: VRNOF) breakup with Goodness Growth looks like it’s going to be messy and expensive. Chicago-based marijuana company Verano called off its planned $413 million purchase of Goodness Growth on Oct. 13, citing unspecified breaches of “covenants and representations.” Goodness says Verano tried to back out of their deal without justification. Read more here.

Stifel Downgrades Canopy to a Sell

Stifel analyst Andrew Carter has downgraded Canopy Growth (NASDAQ: CGC) to a Sell rating following the company’s announcement to create Canopy USA. Stifel has a price target of C$2.90, roughly US$2.14. The stock was lately selling at $3.00. Carter noted: “Overall, we take a negative view noting the deal does not alleviate Canopy’s risks which are enhanced given Acreage’s financial position.” Read more here.

Turning Point Vape Sales Plunge as Zig-Zag Lights Up

Turning Point Brands Inc.  (NYSE: TPB) announced financial results for the third quarter ending Sept. 30, 2022, as sales fell by 1.9% to $107.8 million. However, it beat the Yahoo Finance average analyst estimate of $106 million in sales.  Turning Point also reported that its net income decreased by 14.3% to $11.5 million. Read more here.


Harmony Foundation

Workers at Harmony Foundation, and its Harmony Dispensary in Secaucus, New Jersey, voted to unionize as members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 360. Recently, Harmony announced its intention to expand into the adult-use marijuana market and to open locations in Hoboken and Jersey City, as well as a new cultivation site in Lafayette. Read more here.

DreamField Brands

Two disgruntled customers are suing a California marijuana company, alleging that their prerolled joints were not as strong as claimed. The lawsuit was filed on Oct. 20 against DreamFields Brands Inc. for allegedly falsely claiming that their products have a high THC component, according to the suit. Read more here.

StaffOctober 24, 2022


The Daily Hit is a recap of cannabis business news for Oct. 24, 2022.


Consumers Paying a Lot More for Weed in Illinois

Retail marijuana prices in Illinois have been among the highest in the nation because of a relatively limited number of stores since recreational weed became legal nearly three years ago. But retail weed prices are down 15% so far this year, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Pablo Zuanic writes in a note to clients. Read more here.

Flora Growth Buys German Franchise Global Health

Flora Growth Corp. (Nasdaq: FLGC) announced it is buying German-based medical cannabis company Franchise Global Health Inc. (TSXV: FGH) for an undisclosed amount. However, Flora Growth did note in a statement that FGH’s German reportable segment achieved revenues of C$30.1 million, gross profit of C$2.1 million, and net income of C$0.4 million in the first half of 2022. Read more here.

Canadian Cannabis Company on Brink of Bankruptcy as Debt Comes Due

Radient Technologies Inc. (TSXV: RTI) is looking for ways to stay open as unpaid taxes and a looming debt bill worth more than $10 million comes due. Radient said that is pursuing avenues to raise sufficient working capital to allow the company to operate as a going concern, “but cannot assure it will be able to do so.” Read more here.

Both Dakotas Consider Recreational Cannabis Next Month

South Dakota and North Dakota both will ask voters whether to lift state prohibitions on adult-use marijuana in the upcoming Nov. 8 general election. Read more about what each of those measures include here.


Ascend Wellness Holdings

Ascend Wellness Holdings Inc. (CSE: AAWH.U) (OTCQX: AAWH), a multistate, vertically integrated cannabis operator focused on bettering lives through cannabis, announced the opening of its Scranton, Pennsylvania, dispensary for medical patients only. Read more here.

Neptune Wellness Solutions

Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq: NEPT), a diversified and fully integrated health and wellness company, has agreed to settle and resolve a shareholder class action lawsuit for total consideration of between $4 million and $4.25 million. The suit filed against Neptune and certain of its current and former officers and directors, captioned Gong v. Neptune Wellness Solutions, Inc. (Case No. 2:21-cv-01386-ENV-ARL), relates to allegations that, among other things, the company made misrepresentations of material information. Read more here.

Adam JacksonOctober 24, 2022


South Dakota and North Dakota both will ask voters whether to lift state prohibitions on adult-use marijuana in the upcoming Nov. 8 general election.

South Dakota

Voters in South Dakota made history in 2020 after becoming the first state to pass measures to legalize both medical and recreational use at the same time. However, while advocates managed to save the medical cannabis measure from capitulation, Republican Gov. Kristi Noem bolstered a lawsuit to challenge the recreational-use proposal.

The state Supreme Court eventually ruled that it violated the state Constitution, invoking the “single-subject rule” and finding that recreational marijuana, medical marijuana, and hemp are each separate issues.

The new Measure 27 is a streamlined version of the previous adult-use measure. The proposed law would allow people 21 years old and older to consume and cultivate cannabis for personal use and limiting the amount that people could use or share to one ounce.

“We wrote a very short and simple statutory initiative that we felt had the lowest chance of being taken to court on a single-subject challenge,” Matthew Schweich, the campaign manager of South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, told OpenSecrets.

South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, the committee which raised more than $2.2 million for the failed Measure 26, has collected more than $320,000 for the new bid.

New Approach PAC, an arm of New Approach Advocacy Fund, a D.C.-based group that supports campaigns to legalize cannabis, has given the South Dakota pro-cannabis committee nearly $2 million over the past two efforts.

North Dakota

In North Dakota, which already has a medical marijuana program, a committee named New Approach North Dakota spearheaded what has turned out to be a relatively uncontentious battle to legalize recreational marijuana, with a little over half-a-million dollars in its coffers.

An influential oil industry group that previously helped finance opposition the first time around decided to forgo the opportunity this time. Other groups, including the state’s largest business chamber, decided that public perception of cannabis has significantly changed and spending money to oppose the measure might not be worth it.

Oil interests have been battling legalization because many industry jobs require drug tests. Allowing people to smoke recreationally would shrink the labor pool, Ron Ness, president of North Dakota Petroleum Council, told the Associated Press.

Ness added that one in five North Dakota jobs are directly or indirectly linked to the state’s oil industry.

The North Dakota recreational measure would allow people 21 years old and over to purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis for personal use.

The initiative, however, lacks pathway for expungements for past convictions of nonviolent cannabis crimes. Activists have said that they intend to push for social-equity provisions through the legislature should the initiative pass.

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