Bill To Legalize Industrial Hemp Moves To House Floor

The South Dakota House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee held a hearing Thursday on HB1191, which would legalize the growth, production and processing of industrial hemp in the state. Bill sponsor, Representative Oren Lesmeister of Parade, says its not a miracle crop…

“Is it going to save the family farm? We’ve heard that. No, probably not. There may be a farm out there that hits a lick with this and yea, it could be the thing that keeps them going but for the most part, really what it come down to is it’s another tool in the tool box for farmers to use in a crop rotation. Break the traditional rotations up and maybe have it…a value added income into their life and in on their farms.”
J.B. Meyer of A.H. Meyer & Sons of Winfred told the committee that it would be a good addition to their beekeeping business…

“And we would like the opportunity to process industrial hemp and create a good, quality CBD, wholesale product and be a part of this emerging industry that is expected to grow from 820-million dollars to potentially a 22-billion dollar industry by the year 2022.” 
Jenna Howell with the Department of Public Safety opposed the bill, saying there are still many details at the federal level that are unclear…

“Obviously, the Farm Bill changed the landscape of this dramatically. It used to just be illegal across the board that is no longer the case. And we are struggling to make sure that we understand all of the ramifications and make sure that the complicated and complex issues that are raised by this are appropriately addressed.”
The bill passed out of committee unanimously with a do pass recommendation and will next be heard on the House floor.