SD lacking doctors to recommend medical cannabis, limiting access

Only 90 doctors have been approved to recommend medical cannabis in South Dakota, even though MMJ has been legal in the state since July 2021.

South Dakota’s rules require a physician to begin the MMJ card application process for a patient.

A would-be patient must schedule a consultation with a doctor licensed to recommend medical marijuana, according to Sioux Falls TV station KELO.

Even more steps are required by both doctors and patients, and all contribute to the overall lack of access to medical marijuana in the state.

The 90 approved doctors represent only 4.07% of the state’s 2,214 total active physicians, KELO noted.

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South Dakota’s population is estimated at 895,376, which means there is one doctor to recommend medical cannabis for every 9,948 South Dakotans, according to the TV station.

As of March 29, the state health department had approved 306 MMJ patient card applications, and 21 are pending.