Hemp Bill Moves Forward in South Dakota

The state House passed a bill that would legalize and regulate growth, processing and transportation of industrial hemp.

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February 13, 2020

The South Dakota House has passed a hemp bill, signaling the latest step forward in the crop’s trudge toward legalization in the state.

If passed, the bill would legalize and regulate growth, processing and transportation of industrial hemp, reports Kota TV

The news station reports House legislators passed the bill with a two-thirds majority without debate. They passed a bill last year for hemp legalization as well, but it was vetoed by state Gov. Kristi Noem.

Up until recently, Noem was outspoken in her opposition to hemp in the state due to concerns over “public safety, law enforcement [and] funding,” she said in her latest State of the State Address in January. But the governor recently changed her tune and said she was willing to pass the bill  “in the interest of being proactive.”

The bill now heads to the state Senate, where it will also need a two-thirds majority vote to pass. If Noem then signs it into law, the bill has an emergency clause that would allow it to go into effect immediately. 

South Dakota’s legislative session for the year ends March 30. 

The state is currently just one of three in the country that doesn’t allow farmers to legally grow hemp (the other two are Mississippi and Idaho)