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.

south dakota hempThe 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.

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Federal Judge Lifts Ban on Tribal Member Growing Hemp in South Dakota

hempU.S. District Judge Jeffrey Viken this week lifted an injunction prohibiting a South Dakota tribal member (White Plume) from cultivating industrial hemp. The injunction has been in place for over a decade, since 2004.

According to Judge Viken, there has been a “shifting legal landscape” since the injunction was put in place, including severa states not only legalizing hemp, but legalizing cannabis for recreational use. Judge Viken also makes note of a federal change in law that took place in 2014, which allows the cultivation of hemp for resesearch purposes.

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South Dakota’s Full House of Representatives Votes to Legalize Hemp

legalize hempWith a 57 to 11 vote, South Dakota’s full House of Representatives has given approval to legislation that would explicitly legalize the cultivation, production and distribution of industrial hemp.

House Bill 1054, which is sponsored by a bipartisan coalition of 40 state legislators, now heads to the state’s Senate for consideration, where its passage will send it to Governor Dennis Daugaard. Before being up for a full Senate vote, however, it will need to get through its assigned Senate committee, the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

Read moreSouth Dakota’s Full House of Representatives Votes to Legalize Hemp