Medical Marijuana Process: South Dakota

What is The Process of Getting a Medical Marijuana Card in South Dakota?

Obtaining a medical marijuana card in South Dakota is daunting for almost anyone as many steps need to be completed and it requires that patients have an active email account. To add to the frustration, the application software utilized by the state is technically flawed making it capable of tripping up even the most technically savvy patients. Despite these hurdles, the team at Rapid Referrals has experience with managing all of them as we’ve been successfully certifying patients in the West River since April 2022. Below is the current process for obtaining a medical marijuana card in South Dakota.


Have a Qualifying Medical Condition?

If you believe medical marijuana may be right for you, then it’s worth pursuing. The first hurdle is determining whether or not you have a qualifying medical condition in accordance with SDCL 34-20G. The list includes a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe, debilitating pain; severe nausea, except nausea associated with pregnancy; seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms; Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or positive status for human immunodeficiency virus; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Multiple sclerosis; Cancer or its treatment if associated with severe or chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, or cachexia or severe wasting; Crohn’s disease; Epilepsy and seizures; or Post-traumatic stress disorder.


Schedule an Appointment with a Certified Medical Provider

If you believe that you have a qualifying medical condition and would benefit from the therapeutic use of medical marijuana, the next step is to schedule an appointment with a South Dakota medical provider who is certified to perform these evaluations. These must be in-person evaluations. Rapid Referrals performs these evaluations.


The Medical Certification

At your appointment, if the certifying provider agrees that you have a qualifying medical condition, then you will be certified as such for up to 12 months from the evaluation date. The medical certification requires that the provider create a patient account on the South Dakota Medical Cannabis Program Registry. Once certified electronically, the patient is then immediately sent a time-sensitive email from the state office with a temporary password to set their own personal login credentials for the patient account that was just created by the provider. The medical certification also initiates the electronic medical card application process for the patient.


Patient Completes the Online Application on the SD Medical Cannabis Program Website

Once logged in, the patient must then complete multiple steps within the state’s electronic application before it can be officially submitted for review. The additional steps include answering a few demographic questions, uploading a selfie pic and ID photo, and any special requests (e.g., minor or caregiver cards, low-income benefits, or permission to home cultivate). Upon completion of the application, the patient is then asked to pay electronically a $75 non-refundable fee to the state.


The Approval Process

Once submitted, the patient’s electronic application is held in a “pending” status while awaiting an administrative review by the program specialist at the state office. For straightforward card applications, this step is primarily to verify the patient’s identity and to review the uploaded photos, with which a state-issued picture medical marijuana card is created. Once “approved” online, the card will have been printed in Pierre, South Dakota, and mailed out the next business day.

Special Requests

Applications with additional requests, such as low-income benefits, minor/caregiver cards, and home cultivation permission, are subject to additional background checks and verifications by the state office via email correspondence directly with the patient.


Shopping at the Dispensary

The patient must wait until their medical marijuana card arrives in the mail before they can go shopping at their local dispensary. Their card is valid for 12 months from the date of the medical certification and must be renewed annually for continued use.


Our Rapid Referrals Promise

Rest assured at Rapid Referrals, we try to make this process as smooth as possible, providing full technical support every step of the way. Schedule an appointment with Rapid Referrals for your medical marijuana card evaluation and certification. 

Medical cannabis or medical marijuana is for qualified patients only.

Medical marijuana (cannabis) can be administered through various methods, including capsules, lozenges, tinctures, dermal patches, oral or dermal sprays, cannabis edibles, and vaporizing or smoking dried buds.

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