South Dakota officials have cleared the way for paid circulators to start collecting signatures for a 2024 cannabis legalization ballot initiative as the activist-led campaign continues to evaluate the next steps.

Late last month, the secretary of state’s office approved a circulator handout submitted by South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws (SDBML), a requirement that will allow the campaign to deploy paid canvassers to gather signatures along with its existing grassroots network of volunteers who have already been distributing petitions.

The newly approved campaign material simply features the state attorney general’s title and explanation of the ballot measure, which was finalized in August. Matthew Schweich, director of SDBML, told Marijuana Moment on Thursday that the campaign is “starting to pay a small team of circulators to help gather signatures, but we haven’t yet launched the full-scale paid signature drive.”

The effort is “moving in the right direction,” he said, adding that organizers have “a large number of volunteers working across the state,” as well as volunteers based at existing medical cannabis dispensaries and other businesses that are supporting the effort.