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Noem Still Working With Leaders On Special Session

State capitol in Pierre

Lawmakers and the governor’s office are still undecided about calling a special session before a voter approved medical marijuana law goes into effect.

Leaders in the House and the governor’s office want to make some changes to Initiated Measure 26, the medical marijuana law. There is less support for those changes in the Senate, where leaders say they will only consider non-controversial administrative rules.

Spencer Gosch is the speaker of the Republican controlled House.

“It seems likely that we will not be having a special session in June at this point,” Gosch says.

Governor Noem wants to add some detail to the law. Noem would set a maximum of three plants allowed in the home of someone approved to use medical cannabis. The governor wants to prohibit those under 21 from inhaling marijuana and she would clarify the Department of Health’s rule-making authority.

Governor Noem also wants legislators to take up a bill that she says would protect fairness in women’s sports. Critics say the legislation targets the state’s transgender population. Noem also wants lawmakers to decide how to spend $1.4 billion in federal coronavirus relief dollars.

As for the likelihood of a special session this spring, Governor Noem says there’s currently nothing she can confirm.

“I know they’re having some debates between legislative leadership teams on what they’d like to see,” Noem says. “My staff and I are continuing to communication with them on what can be accomplished.”

Noem issued two executive orders after the legislature failed to uphold her version of the women’s sport’s bill. The voter-approved Initiated Measure 26 legalizing medical marijuana is set to go into effect on July first.