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Hemp growing bill awaits actions from Governor Noem

Published: Mar. 14, 2021 at 8:04 PM CDT
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SOUTH DAKOTA (Dakota News Now) - House Bill 1228 is working to ease some regulations on growing hemp, and it has been passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate in South Dakota and now awaits action from Governor Kristi Noem.

“We truly believe that hemp is going to be a great crop for producers in South Dakota,” District 21 Representative, and Prime Sponsor of HB 1228 Caleb Finck said.

“When a lot of people think hemp, I think they go right to the CBD, but hemp can literally be turned into thousands of products,” Finck added.

HB 1228 was brought forward to make the process of getting involved in growing hemp in South Dakota easier.

“As farmers and producers want to put their foot in the door and say, ‘Okay, let’s try this out,’ that they have a safe reliable way of doing that that’s not too overburdensome. Then, the intention is once they’ve gotten in and growing it, is that they go, ‘You know what? This is going to be a great rotation between my corn and my soybeans and my other things that are on the farm,’” Finck said.

The bill would allow farmers to begin growing hemp on a half-acre of land instead of 5 acres to test the crop, as well as adjust transportation regulations and move the harvest window from 15 days to 30 days.

“The bill that passed last year, HB 1008, it put a 60-day window on our growers on our farmers to apply to be in the hemp program, so this (HB1228) eliminates that window and they’d be able to apply at any time during the year,” said Executive Director of the South Dakota Industrial Hemp Association Katie Sieverding.

HB 1228 now sits on Governor Noem’s desk, and last week when asked if she will sign or veto the bill she said, “That decision hasn’t been made yet.

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