State Representative Oren Lesmeister, a Parade Democrat, issued this statement Tuesday after the Senate wasn’t able to overturn Governor Kristi Noem’s veto of HB 1191 that would have legalized the growth, production and processing of industrial hemp in South Dakota.
“I am extremely disappointed with Governor Noem’s decision to veto industrial hemp. While our surrounding states will be glad to have less competition, we are letting our farmers down. This is not a partisan issue: Democrats and Republicans strongly support the hemp bill.
“This is an issue where Governor Noem is out of touch with the legislators and out of touch with the people of South Dakota. The most disappointing part of this process has been that Governor Noem has not been an honest operator. She has refused to meet with me throughout this process, and she has attacked this bill saying it is a path to marijuana legalization.
“I don’t know what has changed since she worked to pass the Farm Bill, but I know when Senator Mitch McConnell presented legislation to legalize industrial hemp, he was not supporting a pathway to marijuana. That’s not what I want, and it’s not what the people of South Dakota want.
“The only roadblock on the path to industrial hemp for South Dakota is Governor Noem, and this week, she let the people of South Dakota down.”