South Dakota voters back medical marijuana legalization

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The third time was a charm for medical marijuana in South Dakota.

Residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of Measure 26, which creates a medical marijuana market in the state of about 885,000 residents.

With 75% of precincts reporting, Measure 26 led with 68.5% in favor and 31.5% against. The Associated Press called the vote.

South Dakota voters had rejected MMJ ballot measures twice previously.

According to Marijuana Business Daily projections, first-year MMJ sales are expected to total $1.5 million-$2 million, with the market reaching $10 million-$12 million by 2024.

Melissa Mentele, executive director of New Approach South Dakota, which sponsored Measure 26, was pleased the measure did so well in rural areas of the state, which tend to be more conservative.

“We’re winning on rural voters,” she told MJBizDaily.

Amendment A, the constitutional amendment to legalize adult-use marijuana, was headed toward a possible narrower victory as of 12:30 a.m. ET. If passed, both ballot issues would become law July 1.

– Kate Lavin