Legislators, Governor Differ On Advancement Of Industrial Hemp Legislation

(KCCR) — A bill that would help establish an industrial hemp industry in South Dakota has bi-partisan support from legislators in Pierre but Governor Kristi Noem thinks lawmakers should pause. House Bill 1191 was brought by District 28 Representative Democrat Oren Lesmeister of Parade who says support is growing and businesses are ready to step in….

“One’s on the CDB side of things, with hemp oils, the other is in protein meal, whether it’s for human or livestock consumption. We’ve got a net wrap industry that wants to look at it, come into South Dakota and build. I could go on forever, I’ll quit there, but it’s endless what can happen here. So I encourage everybody to call in, show us your support. Cause it’s pretty exciting. It’s time for this to happen and I think we’re gonna get it done.”

The Department of Public Safety testified against the bill Thursday, but Lesmeister says a number of amendments have been considered to ease law enforcement concerns…

“What if somebody is not carrying proper paperwork transporting industrial hemp to…from one, point A to B to the plant, we talked to Department of Ag, and we’ve got an amendment for that. We also wrote in an amendment that were putting on, that if law enforcement has a primary stop for speeding per-se and they just don’t think something is right here, we even gave them the ability to be able to take a sample from that load that that trucker is hauling and have it tested.”
House Majority Leader Republican Lee Qualm of Platte says he supports the idea if it’s done correctly…

“What if somebody is not carrying proper paperwork transporting industrial hemp to…from one, point A to B to the plant, we talked to Department of Ag, and we’ve got an amendment for that. We also wrote in an amendment that were putting on, that if law enforcement has a primary stop for speeding per-se and they just don’t think something is right here, we even gave them the ability to be able to take a sample from that load that that trucker is hauling and have it tested.”
Meanwhile, Noem says the state is not ready for industrial hemp…

Noem was noncommittal about vetoing any industrial hemp legislation if it makes it to her desk. She would prefer to look at such legislation during next year’s session. Lesmeister says he wouldn’t expect actual production of industrial hemp, if his bill becomes law until 2020.