On Industrial Hemp, Six S.D. Senators Switched Sides From 2016 To 2019

KELO South Dakota House Pierre capitol legislature 2019

The South Dakota Legislature considered legalizing industrial hemp in 2016 by designating it as an oilseed. Four House members who supported the effort that year subsequently switched sides after winning Senate elections and became opponents in 2019.

They are Republicans Jeff Partridge of Rapid City, Kris Langer of Dell Rapids, Justin Cronin of Gettysburg and John Wiik of Big Stone City.

Partridge was a co-sponsor of the 2016 legislation. Langer now is Senate Republican leader. Wiik is Senate Appropriations Committee chairman.

They were part of a House majority that supported the 2016 legislation, 57-11.

HB 1054 died however when the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee voted 5-3 against it.

Two of those senators also switched sides from 2016 to 2019. But Republicans Gary Cammack of Union Center and Art Rusch of Vermillion went from opponents to supporters.

Two others on the Senate committee stayed consistent.

Republican Phil Jensen of Rapid City meanwhile was a supporter, while Republican Bob Ewing of Spearfish was an opponent.

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