South Dakota voters disapprove of gov’s cannabis approach, poll shows

Be at the forefront of cannabis and psychedelics science and innovation. Register today & Save $200 on tickets to The Emerald Conference by MJBiz Science, April 1-3 in San Diego.

A slim majority of South Dakota voters disapprove of Republican Gov. Kristi Noem’s approach toward cannabis in the state, according to a recent poll.

Regarding the governor’s approach to marijuana legalization, the poll found:

  • 25.8% of voters strongly approved.
  • 17.8% somewhat approved.
  • 17.8% somewhat disapproved.
  • 33.4% strongly disapproved.
  • 5.2% had no opinion.

South Dakotans voted in favor of legalizing adult-use and medical marijuana markets in November 2020.

The state Supreme Court recently rejected the recreational marijuana initiative after a court challenge backed by Noem.

A campaign to legalize recreational marijuana in South Dakota in 2022 is currently underway.

Meanwhile, the state’s medical marijuana program is moving ahead, with a company recently chosen to help manage the licensing process.

Overall, the poll found that a majority of South Dakota voters approved of Noem’s handling of multiple issues.

Stay informed with MJBiz Newsletters

MJBiz’s family of newsletters gives cannabis professionals an edge in this rapidly changing industry.

Featured newsletters:
  • MJBizDaily: Business news for cannabis leaders in your inbox each morning
  • MJBiz Cultivator: Insights for wholesale cannabis growers & vertically integrated businesses
  • MJBizCon Buzz: Behind-the-scenes buzz on everything MJBizCon
  • MJBiz Retail + Brand: New products, trends and news for cannabis retailers, distributors and marketers
  • Hemp Industry Week: Roundup of news from hemp farming to CBD product manufacturing
  • And more!


“Of the five topics on which Noem was rated in the poll, she fared by far the worst in regard to marijuana,” according to South Dakota News Watch, which sponsored the poll in conjunction with the Chiesman Center for Democracy at the University of South Dakota.

The random telephone poll of 500 registered voters was conducted between Oct. 20-23 and had a margin of error of 4.5%.