PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s request that lawmakers hold off on legalizing industrial hemp is about to be tested.
The Senate agriculture committee is to debate a bill Thursday to allow hemp cultivation. The Republican governor says the state isn’t ready.
The hearing was scheduled for earlier this month, but the governor’s office sought a delay so that more information including a fiscal analysis could be put together for lawmakers.
Noem has asked legislators during two press conferences to set aside the legislation this session, though she’s stopped short of threatening a veto. The House voted 65-2 for the bill just days after she first asked.
The 2018 federal farm bill legalized cultivation of industrial hemp. Supporters say there’s an industry ready in South Dakota to start processing hemp products.