South Dakota Submits Hemp Plan to USDA

The state, which was one of the last in the country to legalize hemp, is now working to develop its hemp program.

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August 14, 2020

South Dakota has submitted its hemp plan to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, marking a major step forward for one of the last states to legalize hemp production in the country.

The USDA has 60 days to either approve or disapprove the plan. 

Grand Forks Herald reports the state plans to work on building out its program in the meantime. The state’s hemp program manager, Derek Schiefelbein, told the outlet information about how processors and growers can apply will be available in the near future.

RELATED: Hemp’s Wild Ride in South Dakota Ends With Legalization

The state’s plan requires hemp operations to be outdoors on at least five continuous acres, Grand Forks Herald reports. Indoor growing is not permitted at this time.

Lawmakers debated legalizing hemp for two years before South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signed it into legalization March 27. Prior to 2020, Noem had largely been opposed to its legalization.

Prior to its legalization, South Dakota was one of three states in the U.S. that did not allow hemp production, along with Mississippi and Idaho. Mississippi has since legalized hemp cultivation under a USDA producer license, meaning the USDA will be administering the producer licenses.

Idaho remains the sole state in the U.S. without a plan for hemp cultivation.