South Dakota’s highest court relaxes rules for cannabis attorneys

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

South Dakota’s highest court has paved the way for attorneys to provide legal advice to cannabis-related clients.

The state Supreme Court added to the professional conduct rules a provision allowing lawyers to counsel clients if the conduct is permitted by South Dakota marijuana laws, according to Sioux Falls TV station KELO.

However, in providing advice, attorneys also must inform their clients about the potential legal consequences of the conduct, which remains illegal under federal law.

The State Bar of South Dakota pushed for the provision at its June convention after expressing concern about attorneys taking marijuana businesses as clients under the previous rules.

South Dakota voters passed referendums in 2020 legalizing medical and recreational marijuana, but the future of the adult-use measure is still being weighed by the state Supreme Court.