South Dakota House Passes Bill to Legalize Hemp
South Dakota’s full House of Representatives has passed legislation that would explicitly legalize the cultivation and production of industrial hemp throughout the state.
The House voted 51 to 16 to pass the measure, which now goes to the state’s Senate. If approved by the Senate, it would be sent to Governor Dennis Daugaard for final consideration; Daugaard would have the option of signing it into law, allowing it to become law without his signature, or vetoing it. However, the super-majority vote in the House would be enough to override a veto from Governor Daugaard (though the Senate would also need at least 2/3rds support).
If the measure is passed into law, it would allow those who register with the Department of Agriculture to grow industrial hemp. The hemp must contain no more than 0.3% THC; if it contains more than that, it would be considered marijuana and remain illegal.
A similar measure passed the House last year, but failed to advance further; advocates are optimistic, however, that there’s enough support in the Senate this year to get it approved.