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Lawmakers compromise to set medical marijuana home-grow limit at four plants


State lawmakers want to cap the number of plants that medical marijuana patients can grow at four.

That compromise comes after House and Senate lawmakers disagreed on whether to allow home cultivation of the plant.

The Senate previously voted to allow six marijuana plants — three capable of flowering, and three that are dormant. The House wanted to ban home-grown marijuana, which would force patients to buy from dispensaries.

Both chambers oppose the terms of the medical-marijuana law passed by voters in 2020. It calls for a minimum of three plants, but up to 99 plants with a physician's note.

Republican Rep. Fred Deutsch, who wanted to ban home-grow, brought a compromise of two flowering plants and two dormant.

“We wanted to give South Dakotans the security that both chambers came together and agreed on a single number. That’s really what this procedure was about.”

In the Senate, Michael Rohl says he supported the higher number of plants but is happy home cultivation will go forward.

“I’m glad to see that the House is understanding that banning home cultivation isn’t the right approach. I do wish that they would focus on the governor’s promise that they would provide the best medical marijuana program for patients."

Both chambers approved the compromise bill. It now heads to the governor’s desk.

Lee Strubinger is SDPB’s Rapid City-based news and political reporter. A former reporter for Fort Lupton Press (CO) and Colorado Public Radio, Lee holds a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.