January 25, 2024 - Medical Marijuana

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South Dakota Chamber Of Commerce - Capitol-ism E-Newsletter

January 25, 2024

Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana has been praised for bringing relief from various ailments for people.  Unfortunately, it offers some chronic angst for employers trying to meet the occasionally contradictory demands of respecting employee rights to legal remedies and the need to protect the public from people operating dangerous equipment when they are under the influence of THC. 

At the core of this conundrum are two facts:

  • Medical Marijuana is legal by state law only; it is still illegal according to Federal law
  • There is no test that reveals if someone is impaired by THC. Tests will reveal the use of marijuana, but not when it was ingested.

Enter SB 12. This bill is designed to clarify that employers can take disciplinary action against employees who are in a safety-sensitive job and fail a THC test.  Below is the language of SB 12.  At the bottom of the story is the definition of a safety-sensitive job.

Survey: Click here https:/bit.ly/4bdwwHC to answer a quick survey about your experience dealing with medical marijuana in your workplace.

Item 1: SB 12 
(new language in blue and underlined)

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of South Dakota:

Section 1. That § 34-20G-22 be AMENDED:

34-20G-22. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a registered qualifying patient who uses cannabis for a medical purpose shall must be afforded all the same rights under state and local law, as the person would be afforded if the person were solely prescribed a pharmaceutical medication, as it pertains to:
(1) Any interaction with a person's employer;
(2) Drug testing by a person's employer; or 
(3) Drug testing required by any state or local law, agency, or government official.

Nothing in this section prohibits adverse employment action, based solely on a positive test result for cannabis metabolites, if the person is employed in a safety-sensitive job.

Nothing in this section prohibits an employer from refusing to hire a person, based solely on a positive test result for cannabis metabolites, if the person is seeking employment in a safety-sensitive job.

Section 2. That § 34-20G-24 be AMENDED:

34-20G-24. No employer is required to allow the ingestion, possession, transfer, display, or transportation of cannabis in any workplace or to allow any employee to work while under the influence of cannabis.

No employer is prohibited from establishing and enforcing a drug free drug-free workplace policy that, which may include a drug testing program that complies with state and federal law and, or acting with respect to an applicant or employee under the policy.

No cause of action is created for employment discrimination or wrongful termination arising from an employer's enforcement of a drug-free workplace policy in compliance with this chapter.


  "Safety-sensitive job," any position with tasks or duties that an employer reasonably believes could:

(a)    Cause the illness, injury, or death of an individual; or

(b)    Result in serious property damage;

Quick Note: Fee charged for bounced checks to be increased from $40 to $60

SB 38 - amend the amount a merchant or place of business may assess against returned checks.

Sponsor: Senator Rohl (R-Aberdeen)

The bill increases the maximum fee a merchant can charge foe a returned check from $40 to $60 dollars.  The bill passed the Senate on a vote of 29-Yea to 0-Nay.  A vote that is not considered very close.

Register today for Business Day at https:/bit.ly/3teZ4PL

2024 Business Day sponsors include

First PREMIER Bank/PREMIER Bankcard
BNSF Railway Company
Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield of South Dakota
Black Hills Energy
McGough Construction
NorthWestern Energy

Thank you for your support of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce & Industry!

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