Noem repeats request that lawmakers hold off on hemp bill
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is restating her “very real concerns” with efforts to legalize industrial hemp this year.
The Republican last week asked lawmakers to shelve efforts this session to allow the cultivation of industrial hemp in South Dakota. Representatives voted 65-2 just days later to send the bill to the Senate.
Noem on Thursday revived her request, saying South Dakota isn’t ready for industrial hemp. She says the state doesn’t have funds budgeted for areas including establishing a licensing program and having inspectors.
The governor also raised public safety worries, saying hemp looks like marijuana and officials don’t have a roadside test to measure THC levels. Noem stopped short of a veto threat.
The 2018 federal farm bill legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp. Supporters say there’s an industry ready in South Dakota to start processing hemp products.