PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – Members of a legislative committee are still exploring the legalization of industrial hemp in South Dakota, despite a past veto and continued opposition from Republican Gov. Kristi Noem.
Several lawmakers met Monday in Pierre to hear from officials in North Dakota and Montana, where the crop is legal.
Noem sent members of her administration to the meeting to oppose legalization. KELO reported that the administration’s common theme is that too many questions remain. Public Safety Secretary Craig Price said legalizing industrial hemp would open the way for new attempts to legalize marijuana.
Minority Whip Oren Lesmeister has been meeting with officials from states where industrial hemp is grown and processed. He says those states have strict rules, and fears that industrial hemp will lead to marijuana production are unwarranted.