South Dakota House sends hemp legalization bill to governor

PIERRE, South Dakota (AP) – South Dakota’s Legislature has approved a bill that would legalize industrial hemp despite Gov. Kristi Noem’s opposition.

The House voted 58-8 Monday to send the bill to the Republican governor.

Noem had requested that lawmakers hold off on legalizing hemp this year, saying questions remain about enforcement, taxpayer costs, and effects on public safety.

The bill’s main sponsor, Democratic Rep. Oren Lesmeister, has said it would allow South Dakota farmers and ranchers to keep up with the demand and the expansion of the hemp industry.

The bill fell short of passing through the Senate with the two-thirds support that would be required to override a potential veto. Noem has stopped short of threatening to veto the measure.

The 2018 federal farm bill legalized cultivation of industrial hemp nationally.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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