SIOUX FALLS | Some South Dakota lawmakers plan to visit marijuana businesses in other states and on tribal lands to get a firsthand look at how the drug is grown and sold before it becomes legal for medical use in the state.
Members of the South Dakota Legislature's interim study committee plan to visit professional cultivation and retail operations in Iowa, Colorado and the Flandreau Santee Sioux Reservation in Moody County.
The group is split into two subcommittees: some members will study medical marijuana and visit a medical grow operation and dispensary sometime between June 28 and July 1; another plans to visit Colorado to focus on recreational marijuana, though that visit requires authorization from the Legislature's executive board due to its anticipated costs, according to the Argus Leader.
Medical marijuana will become legal in South Dakota on July 1, while the future legal status of recreational marijuana remains unclear pending a South Dakota Supreme Court ruling.
Lawmakers on the committee studying the issue agreed to the site visits so they could get a comprehensive understanding of the pot industry and be ready in case the court upholds a constitutional amendment that would legalize all adult marijuana use.
"The topic is very broad and diverse so our goal is to get everyone to a point where we can build on this information," said Sen. Bryan Breitling, a Miller Republican and chairman of the summer study.