South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R) is again slamming the state’s voters for voting to legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes.

This week during her annual budget address, she wanted to “call out one budget provision related to the disappointing votes on marijuana at the ballot box this year” and that there are “significant safety and regulatory costs associated with both the medical marijuana measure and the recreational one.”

According to Noem, the budget is now complicated by a lawsuit that challenges the adult-use reform measure. The Governor said she will “have to present two courses of action—a path forward with both recreational and medical, and a second with just medical.”

The medical cannabis reform measure is not being legally contested.

According to Noem, South Dakota “will not see any revenue from marijuana until at least April of 2022, though it could be longer.”

“And in the meantime, to comply with the predetermined timeline, the Department of Revenue needs to get to work now,” she said. “This funding would go toward staff, technology, consultants, and other costs, until revenues from the program are enough to sustain it. But there will also be a number of other collateral costs, like safety, training and enforcement, among many others.”

“On top of this, the Department of Health has specific needs related to the medical marijuana program,” Noem added. “My budget recommends just over $136,000 over three years to cover staff and other costs related to setting up a program. That should be enough to support program costs until revenue starts coming in.”

“Over the coming weeks, we hope to know more about which path we need to take,” she said.

Two South Dakota law enforcement officials have filed a lawsuit against the recreational marijuana measure that was funded in part by the state.

The lawsuit claims that the measure should be invalidated because it violated a single-subject rule stipulating that “no proposed amendment may embrace more than one subject.”

“In South Dakota we respect our Constitution,” Noem told The Rapid City Journal last month. “I look forward to the court addressing the serious constitutional concerns laid out in this lawsuit.”

Noem said after the election that she was “personally opposed to these measures and firmly believe they’re the wrong choice for South Dakota’s communities.”


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