South Dakota voters rejected a ballot measure on Tuesday that would’ve legalized cannabis for adult use.
South Dakota voters decided on legalization once before, in 2020. While voters approved legalization that year, the state Supreme Court later struck it down after a legal challenge spearheaded by Republican Gov. Kristi Noem, as Cannabis Wire reported. Noem was reelected on Tuesday.
Adult use cannabis legalization was also on the ballot, as Cannabis Wire reported, in Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, and North Dakota.
All of these campaigns, except in Maryland, have been run by cannabis advocates or industry members. In Maryland, lawmakers put the question of legalization before voters. The campaigns in Arkansas and Missouri raised almost all of the more than $20 million that went to adult use measures on the ballot, and most of it came from cannabis companies that would benefit, as Cannabis Wire reported.
Until Tuesday morning, 19 states and D.C. had legalized cannabis for adult use. (Also, Nov. 6 marked the ten-year anniversary of voters in Colorado and Washington becoming the first in the world to legalize cannabis for adult use. Read Cannabis Wire’s anniversary series.)
As Cannabis Wire recently reported, South Dakota’s ballot measure, Initiated Measure 27, would’ve allowed adults age 21 and older to legally possess and consume cannabis, and to grow up to three mature plants at home. There was no language regarding regulated sales.
South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, the campaign behind the adult use measure, raised roughly $544,000, almost all from three existing operators, as well as another $100,000 in-kind, as of November 6, as Cannabis Wire reported.
Protecting South Dakota Kids opposed the measure. As of November 7, they raised roughly $500,000.