PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota has planted the seed for a whole new crop: industrial hemp.
The state legislature passed the legalization of industrial hemp during its last session.
Since that time, the state has been working with the U.S. Department of Ag to come up with a plan on how producers can start planting, growing and transporting industrial hemp.
Industrial hemp is a growing market and soon South Dakota will be a part of it.
Friday in Pierre, the state departments of Ag and Public Safety offered the rules.
The annual license proposals for growers is $500; processors $2,000; field inspection $250 per location; processor inspection $500 per location; and transporters $25.
Derrick Dohmann of Horizon Seeds in Willow Lake, among others, would like to see a cap on inspection fees.
“We could be looking upwards of a dozen fields through our varieties, so that’s going to take a major hit out of our pocket, that could be another expense we weren’t planning for down the road,” Dohmann said.
“It’s just fee, upon fee, upon fee; we would think some sort of cap would be appropriate, here,” executive director for South Dakota Industrial Hemp Association Katie Sieverding said.
They say in other states where industrial hemp is already legal, there are caps on fees or no fees at all.
This past January, state legislators passed a law legalizing hemp with no more than 0.3% THC.
Charles Foley, who’s been involved in hemp in Colorado, questioned why growers should be punished if their plants test higher than the 0.3% THC level that state law allows.
“The reason we need to change that is we don’t know how to educate a farmer on how to prevent this from happening. We shouldn’t be able to take away their right to grow those crops,” Foley said.
Foley also questioned the rules as to why growers should be arrested for possessing hemp seeds without a license.
“Nobody should be arrested for having these seeds without a license, no person gets arrested for having corn seeds or soybean without a license,” Foley said.
The state will take written comments on the plan and rules for industrial hemp for 10 more days.