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State's Medical Marijuana Oversight Committee seeking members
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State's Medical Marijuana Oversight Committee seeking members

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When voters approved Initiated Measure 26 in November, to legalize marijuana for medical use in South Dakota, the measure also provided for the creation of an oversight committee to evaluate and make recommendations to the Legislature and Department of Health.

With the law set to take effect July 1, the Executive Board of the Legislative Research Council will be appointing members of the oversight committee at its June 2 meeting.

Under SDCL 34-20G-92, the 14-member committee will be comprised of one member of the South Dakota House of Representatives; one member of the South Dakota Senate; one agent from the Department of Criminal Investigation; a staff member from the Office of the Attorney General; two representatives of law enforcement; a representative from the Department of Health; one practitioner with experience in medical cannabis issues; one nurse; one board member or principal officer of a cannabis testing facility; one person with experience in policy development or implementation in the field of medical cannabis; and three qualifying patients — individuals who have been diagnosed as having a debilitating medical condition.

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The Executive Board is seeking applicants particularly for the practitioner with experience in medical cannabis, the board member or principal officer of a cannabis testing facility, and the three qualifying patients.

Rep. Spencer Gosch, chair of the Executive Board, encouraged qualified South Dakota citizens to apply.

"It's important that the members of the oversight committee not only bring professional experience and expertise where needed but also have a personal understanding of our state and the needs of its citizens. While not everyone may be able to commit to serving, if you know of someone who might be a good member of the committee, please encourage them to apply," he said in a press release.

The oversight committee is required to meet at least twice a year. Members are charged with evaluating and making recommendations on issues including providing timely access to high-quality medical cannabis to qualifying patients; the effectiveness of dispensaries and cultivation facilities in serving the needs of qualifying patients; the effectiveness of cannabis testing facilities; the sufficiency of regulatory and security safeguards; and research studies regarding the health effects of medical cannabis for patients.

The deadline to apply is May 14. Application can be made by completing and submitting the application form posted on the LRC website.

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