Only parents, guardians or other registered caregivers will be allowed to administer medical cannabis to a student under a policy approved by the Madison School Board.

On Monday night, school board members unanimously approved policy JHCDE: Administration of Medical Cannabis to Qualifying Students. Board members also passed the related policy, JHCDE-E: Medical Cannabis Administration Plan, which is a form that parents or guardians must fill out.

Madison Central School District Superintendent Joel Jorgenson told board members that the policy is something school boards across South Dakota are approving until districts hear more from the state Department of Health. He said at a previous meeting that school districts should have a final plan from state officials by November.

“Even though I would ask that you approve these right now tonight, don’t be surprised if you see them again come November-December,” Jorgenson said Monday night.

Under the policy, students with a valid registry identification card for medical cannabis under state law can be administered medical cannabis on school property or at school-sponsored activities by their parent/guardian or other registered designated caregiver.

At the beginning of each year, or at any time when the qualifying student’s administration of medical cannabis changes, parents will need to provide: 1) the student’s valid state of South Dakota Department of Health approved registry I.D. card or nonresident card with the state’s confirmation of registration; 2) the state DOH-approved caregiver’s card showing his/her status as the registered designated caregiver for the student; and 3) a written dated and signed certification by the qualifying student’s recommending practitioner that also includes the dosage, frequency or time of administration, and length of time between dosages.

“The parent/guardian or other registered designated caregiver is the only one who may provide, administer, or assist the student with the consumption of medical cannabis,” the policy states. “Schools will not store, and school personnel will not administer, medical cannabis.”

In addition, parents or guardians cannot possess on school property an amount of medical cannabis that exceeds the qualifying student’s prescribed daily dosage. They must also transport it in a container that meets the packaging and labeling requirements specified by the state Health Department.

The district will determine the location and method of administration of a permissible form of medical cannabis so “to not create risk of disruption to the educational environment or exposure to other students,” the policy states.

School Board President Tom Farrell spoke in favor of approving the second reading of both policies.

“I think it’s prudent that we get it in place even though we understand that it will more than likely need to be changed as we go forward with that,” he said.