South Dakota to vote on recreational cannabis use

South Dakota voters are set to return to the ballot box to decide whether they want to legalise marijuana for recreational use in the state.

The South Dakota Secretary of State has finished certifying petition signatures turned in earlier this month by pressure group South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws (SDBML), according to the campaign committee that’s worked for more than two years to end the State’s prohibition on cannabis.

“We are very pleased that we’ve qualified for the ballot and we are extremely thankful to everyone who signed our petitions, our volunteers, our staff and our supporters,” SDBML director told the local press.

“We look forward to being on the ballot in November and we’re confident we can win again and restore the will of the people of south Dakota.”

The ballot question will be titled Initiated Measure 27, he said.

The Secretary of State’s Office confirmed last week that SDBML’s had a 79.2% validation rate on a total of 31,588 signatures.

The petitions they were on propose legalising cannabis for personal use, possession and cultivation of cannabis for adults 21 and older.

Unlike a 2020 proposed constitutional amendment, known as Amendment A, that passed at the ballot box and was struck down by the South Dakota Supreme Court, Initiated Measure 27 would not establish a tax or a regulatory structure for commercial marijuana operations.

The vote comes as prospects for the commercial cannabis market continue to look positive, with global cannabis sales for 2022 set to reach just over $35 billion, an increase of approximately 22% over 2021 sales of $29 billion, according to a recent forecast from US industry body BDSA.

Indeed, BDSA forecasts global cannabis sales will surpass $61 billion in 2026, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 16%.

“Though most legal cannabis markets saw sales soften in the second half of 2021, the global cannabis market is expected to see brisk growth in 2022, driven by strong sales in new and emerging markets in the US, steady growth in Canada and international markets led by Mexico and Germany,” said Jessica Lukas, chief commercial officer at BDSA.

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