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(SD)-Noem Asks That Hemp Bill Be Shelved This Year

By: John Axtell Posted at: 02/09/2019 11:35 PM
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is asking lawmakers to shelve efforts this session to allow the cultivation of industrial hemp, the non-hallucinogenic cousin of marijuana.
     The 2018 federal farm bill legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp and a South Dakota House panel voted unanimously Thursday to advance a measure legalizing industrial hemp, but Noem says there are too many questions remaining about enforcement, taxpayer costs and effects on public safety.

     The former Republican congresswoman in office as governor for about a month says hemp isn't currently authorized for growth in South Dakota and that the state isn't ready for production of industrial hemp because the federal government has yet to set rules from the farm bill.

     Noem says state officials will need to study the federal rules once they're issued and decide if hemp is as promising as supporters say it will be.
   Democratic State Representative Oren Lesmeister, sponsor of the bill, says there's an industry in South Dakota ready to start processing hemp products as soon as approval is given.


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