Finally, after much debate and back-and-forth, South Dakota leaders have finally decided to move forward with and make legal cannabis a reality, with South Dakota Initiated Measure 26 allowing medical cannabis and Amendment A allowing recreational cannabis. Although voters approved the measures last November, the state has taken its time and faced several setbacks, as legislators fought to try and overturn the new law. Now that legal cannabis is finally here to stay, the state’s cannabis trade association is hoping to make a major impact on new businesses.
The Cannabis Industry Association of South Dakota is in place to ensure that local businesses feel supported as they get used to the legal cannabis industry.
“It will create a lot of businesses in the state; it will create a lot of new opportunities for existing businesses in the state. We just wanted to make sure there is an industry voice to work with the state as they work on implementation,” Ned Horsted, executive director of the Cannabis Industry Association of South Dakota, said.
“We hired a lobbyist to make sure IM 26 was defended,” he added. “Moving forward, we’ll be working with the state, hopefully, to make sure that as rule promulgation moves forward it is done in a way that is conducive to business and ultimately will make this a success for South Dakota.”
“Every other industry has a trade association including alcohol and tobacco, and so we serve as that trade association that lobbies on behalf of the licensed entities to ensure that we have fair rules and regulations and laws that are conducive to their business models,” Robin Schneider, executive director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association said in regards to the need for support in the new South Dakota cannabis industry.
Now that South Dakota finally has a framework in place, advocates like those who work with the Cannabis Industry Association of South Dakota will have their work cut out for them, in the best possible way.