South Dakota Marijuana Laws

Current Legality State
Medical Program Only
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South Dakota State Information Page

  • Medically legal; recreational legislation was passed but rejected by the Supreme court.
  • South Dakotans passed Constitutional Amendment A, which allows adults to purchase and possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to three plants for personal use.
  • Amendment A took effect on July 1, 2021; however, the South Dakota supreme court has blocked the affirmation of the new recreational marijuana law. 
  • Not decriminalized statewide by the South Dakota State Legislature
  • Possession is not allowed recreationally; three ounces is allowed for medical patients, 
  • As of 2021, adults who are 21 and older may possess up to three plants, with a limit of six plants per household.
  • Medical patients with a state-issued card may grow an unlimited quantity of plants.
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Medical cannabis is legal in South Dakota, and there is a complete medical cannabis program established within the state with several state-approved dispensaries.

An amendment was signed to provide better marijuana laws on decriminalization, possession, and adult use; however, there has been significant pushback from lawmakers and the state’s Supreme Court to legalize marijuana. 

State Laws and Offenses

Here’s a list of penalties for possession, sale, and distribution of marijuana, concentrate, or paraphernalia in South Dakota.

  • Marijuana is a Schedule I drug in the state of South Dakota 
  • Federally, cannabis is still considered a Schedule I Controlled Substance
  • Possession of 2 ounces or less is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum sentence of 1-year imprisonment and a maximum fine of 2,000 USD.
  • Possession of more than 10 pounds is a Class 3 felony, punishable by a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of 30,000 USD.
  • The sale or distribution of less than 1/2 ounce is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 days to 1-year imprisonment and a maximum fine of 2,000 USD.
  • Cultivation in South Dakota will be punished based upon the aggregate weight of the plants found as either simple possession or possession with the intent to distribute.
  • The possession of paraphernalia is a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum sentence of 30 days imprisonment and a maximum fine of 500 USD.

Qualifying conditions for medical cannabis patients per the South Dakota Department of Health for the medical marijuana program are: 

  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic, debilitating pain
  • Epilepsy/ seizures
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscle spasticity (severe)
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Nausea (intractable) 
  • Any other debilitating medical condition where the physician feels there could be a therapeutic or palliative benefit for medical cannabis use

How to get a medical marijuana card in South Dakota


Book An Appointment

You will schedule an appointment to see a medical marijuana doctor in South Dakota at a time that is most convenient for you. Provide basic medical history and book your appointment with a licensed medical marijuana doctor.



Consult with a doctor for a quick evaluation of your ailments, and ask any questions you may have about medical marijuana treatment.



Within 24 hours after the evaluation, the doctor will send your certificate via email for your recommendation for medical marijuana. After receiving that recommendation, you can then apply with the state of South Dakota to complete the registration process.

When does my South Dakota medical card expire?

Your medical card expires one year from when the doctor completes this registration. This is generally within 24 hours after the evaluation appointment.

South Dakota marijuana DUI laws

South Dakota does not allow the operation of a motor vehicle under the influence of any Schedule I substance, including legalized recreational marijuana products, or when leaving medical cannabis establishments.


South Dakota marijuana growing laws

Adults 21 and older may possess up to three cannabis plants, with a limit of six plants per household. Qualifying patients or a designated caregiver with a state-issued card may grow an unlimited quantity of plants; however, a resident can get a 250 USD fine if marijuana plants are visible to the public.

South Dakota public consumption laws

South Dakota does not specify where medical cannabis can be used; however, medical cardholders can only possess three ounces, and recreational use is illegal. 

South Dakota city specific laws

The laws listed here are for the state. Cities, counties, schools, universities, and employers may set their own rules and consequences. Be sure to check how marijuana laws differ in each county or town before you use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Approximately 54 percent of South Dakota voters support the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in their state, while 70 percent of voters support cannabis for medical use.  However, lawmakers are blocking bills to legalize it entirely in 2022. 

Patients must apply for a medical marijuana card on the government portal.

Here are the steps:

Be 18 years of age or older

Patients under 18 years of age must have parental consent

Have a current diagnosis of a qualifying condition

Hold an official written certification from a physician

Be a South Dakota resident with proof of residency and an ID

Cannabis Policy Reform Timeline

1931: Prohibition began in South Dakota, and marijuana was banned

1977: Cannabis was decriminalized by the South Dakota Senate; however, the law was short-lived and appealed almost immediately after that same election

2006-2014: Ballot initiative failed to legalize the initiated measure for medical marijuana

2015: The decriminalization initiative failed to gather signatures

2018: Medical marijuana initiative failed to gather signatures

2020: Approximately 54 percent of voters in South Dakota approved an adult-use cannabis legalization measure, while nearly 70 percent voted in favor of medical marijuana legalization. However, the state’s Supreme Court overturned the amendments.  It has become quite a legal challenge for the state to begin regulating and taxing marijuana, but many voters support it.

2022: Marijuana activists for the Marijuana Policy Project and the South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws attempt to place recreational use back on the ballot for voters to finally legalize cannabis in the November election cycle. 

Updated 6.14.2022