Noem’s hemp bill veto stifling to South Dakota agriculture
Guest column by Katie Sieverding, South Dakota Industrial Hemp Association
The South Dakota Industrial Hemp Association would like to address some assertions made in Gov. Kristi Noem’s veto of a measure revising some industrial hemp statutes.
House Bill 1209 aims at changing the "product in process" definition to allow the THC content of up to 5 percent (currently 1 percent) during processing and allow for the transportation of this intermediate oil from licensed processor to licensed processor for the production of final hemp-based consumer products. This bill does not allow crops in the field nor end consumer products (lotion, chapstick, etc.) to be at 5 percent THC. The only change proposed in HB 1209 is during the intermediate stage after harvest and before CBD products hit the retail market. This is an intermediate product, not a product ready for consumer use. To clarify this further, language was added in HB 1209 during the legislative process adding labeling requirements during the transport. Moreover, our processors must submit an application, undergo background checks, and agree to inspection at any time before a license is even granted. The safeguards for this intermediate step in the processing are in place. Travel documentation and the proposed labeling requirements add to the guardrails. The Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, who oversees the hemp program, and law enforcement have all the tools necessary if a problem arises.
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