US (SD): House panel rejects senate-passed cannabis legalization bill

A South Dakota House committee defeated a Senate-passed bill to legalize cannabis, and members also gutted a separate measure that would have set up initial rules for the market by replacing it with new language to eliminate existing protections for medical cannabis patients.

The state Senate had narrowly approved the legalization bill, SB 3, last week. But the House State Affairs Committee defeated it by voting 8-3 to move the legislation to the 41st day of the session—one day after the session ends, thereby preventing its consideration.

Advocates say the fight isn’t completely over yet, however. It’s possible that the measure could be revived if 24 lawmakers agree to force floor consideration. Whether there’s the will for that kind of legislative maneuvering—called a “smokeout” in legislative parlance—is yet to be seen.

“SB 3 may have been defeated in committee today but there are still procedural options available to supporters,” Matthew Schweich, director of South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, told Marijuana Moment. “This fight is not over. And if we ultimately come up short in this legislative session, then we will go back to the ballot this November and pass adult-use cannabis legalization in South Dakota for the second election in a row.”

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