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South Dakota Governor Asks Lawmakers To Shelve Hemp Efforts

A House panel voted unanimously Thursday to advance a measure legalizing industrial hemp

Gov. Kristi Noem is asking lawmakers to shelve efforts this session to allow the cultivation of industrial hemp in South Dakota.

The Republican governor said in a Friday statement that South Dakota isn’t ready for production of industrial hemp. Noem says questions remain about enforcement, taxpayer costs and effects on public safety.

Noem says officials need to see federal rules once they’re issued and decide if hemp is as “promising as they say it will be.” The governor’s office says the crop isn’t currently authorized for growth in South Dakota.

A House panel voted unanimously Thursday to advance a measure legalizing industrial hemp. Democratic Rep. Oren Lesmeister, the sponsor, says there’s an industry ready in South Dakota to start processing hemp products.

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

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