SD House OKs changes to low-THC hemp laws

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Representative Caleb Finck did all the talking Tuesday as the state House approved changes to South Dakota’s still-untested laws on industrial hemp.

House members voted 58-11 to send HB 1228 over to the Senate for further action.

Governor Kristi Noem sent the hemp-program manager and a Highway Patrol captain to try to stop the legislation in a House committee last week.

The broad support Tuesday was well beyond the two-thirds majority of 47 needed in the House to override a governor’s veto.

Noem defeated industrial-hemp legislation in 2019 with a veto that the Senate couldn’t override. The sides found agreement last year but the program’s rules weren’t final until December.

Finck, the current bill’s sponsor, said it makes changes the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggested, along with other changes the governor opposed, such as allowing industrial hemp to be grown in greenhouses and on outside plots as small as one-half acre.

He said industrial hemp will be planted in South Dakota this growing season.

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