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Ag committee gives first approval of industrial hemp

Photo Source: Aleks / CC BY-SA 3.0 / Adrian Cable / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Barbetorte / CC BY-SA 3.0 / MGN
Photo Source: Aleks / CC BY-SA 3.0 / Adrian Cable / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Barbetorte / CC BY-SA 3.0 / MGN(KALB)
Published: Feb. 6, 2020 at 9:45 AM MST
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A bill to legalized the growth and transportation of hemp in South Dakota cleared the House Ag and Natural Resources committee this morning in Pierre.

was heavily amended by the Governor’s Office but ultimately passed on an 11 yes, 2 excused vote sending the bill to the full House for debate.

House Majority Leader Lee Qualm says he feels ‘really good’ about the current bill but adds that there’s still work to be done.

Governor Kristi Noem vetoed a similar bill last year saying that hemp production in South Dakota was a ‘gateway’ to legalizing marijuana. She agreed to work with lawmakers this year provided that the bill include what she referred to as her “Four Guardrails.”

HB100B covered three of the four guardrails but conspicuously absent was the ‘funding’ component. HB1008B requires roughly $3.5 million in one time and on going monies but does not identify where that funding will come from.

Committee Chair Thomas Brunner (R-Dist 29) remarked that the bill was being ‘held hostage’ and several members expressed frustrations with how the state would fund hemp testing and transportation if no HB1008 were not to pass.

Qualm recognized those concerns and told reporters afterwards that the bill still had work to be done but that he was confident it would receive a favorable reception on the full floor of the House.

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