South Dakota hit a milestone in its medical marijuana industry this week, announcing that it has issued the first medicinal cannabis patient cards.

The state has printed and issued the first medical cannabis patient cards and the state’s Department of Health remains confident in its capability to adjust to demand increases.

According to Daniel Bucheli, spokesman for the South Dakota Department of Health, the department’s ability to handle an influx of applications is due to the months of preparation that have gone into the medical cannabis program.

“We advise medical cannabis patients to have all their information at the ready to be submitted after their provider has issued their written certification,” said Bucheli.
The Department of Health has 15 days to process a patient medical card application from the day received, Bucheli added.

“At this time, we’ve received a handful of applications and dozens of provider enrollments. We are working on those now, and they will all be processed in accordance with the timelines established in state law.”

Any patient in South Dakota must first schedule an appointment with their physician. Then a determination is made by the physician whether the patient would benefit from the therapeutic or palliative use of medical cannabis for their condition.

A medical certification is issued through the online portal for the patient if the answer is yes.

Physicians must create an account at to provide written certifications.

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