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Noem drops opposition to hemp, but calls for what she calls guardrails

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Kristi Noem says she won’t veto legislation allowing hemp to be grown in the state.

Noem said in an interview with KELO that she’ll drop her opposition to hemp provided lawmakers stick to “guardrails” to regulate hemp.

Noem made it clear she wants the crop to be tightly regulated, with government agencies providing licenses and inspections.

She also wants legislators to come up with a way to pay for the hemp program.

The Legislature convenes next week.

Here is Noem’s full statement from Thursday morning:

“Over the last year, we’ve had a long conversation about legalizing hemp, and everyone

knows that I don’t think it’s a good idea.

“Last year, I vetoed a bill that didn’t address concerns surrounding public safety, law enforcement, or funding. I asked the legislature to wait until we had direction from the federal government and a plan to address those concerns. Now since that time, things have changed. Federal guidelines have been put in place, a South Dakota tribe has been given the green light on production, and other states’ actions mean we need to address hemp transportation through our state. The legislative summer study also did great work, and they included some good ideas.

“Today, I am outlining for the legislature a path forward – four guardrails, if you will – on hemp. These include: 1) reliable enforcement standards; 2) responsible regulations regarding licensing, reporting, and inspections; 3) an appropriate plan for safe transportation; and 4) an adequate funding plan.

“Given all that we need to accomplish this session, if we can get this done in the coming weeks, it would be a good way to kick off this year’s legislative session.”

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