Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe has obtained approval to grow industrial hemp under new rules from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
According to USDA.gov, Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe was one of three hemp plans that have been approved.
The approved plan includes the appointment of a Hemp Control Officer to oversee the production. According, to the plan, the Hemp Control Officer can issue licenses, permits, agreements and they can propose tribal hemp regulations.
In a statement from the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, tribal officials said the plan regulates the production of hemp within the tribe’s territory, including where hemp may be grown, sampling and testing of hemp plants for THC-level compliance, and destruction for plants with non-acceptable THC levels.
"The Tribe’s Executive Committee, as an act of its sovereign authority, has taken extensive efforts to grow hemp, and thereby expand its current agricultural activities. The Tribe is confident that this plant is not only an incredible economic opportunity because of its vast product offerings, but is also native to this area, and beneficial to the environment."
Gov. Kristi Noem has maintained a hard stance against growing the crop in South Dakota. However, state law doesn’t apply to sovereign nations.
The Flandreau Santee, Oglala, Yankton Sioux and Santee Sioux (Nebraska) were among 11 tribes and 11 states in the U.S. that filed applications with the federal agency since it opened the process in late October.
States or tribes will have to adhere to a number of federal guidelines, including plans to comply with enforcement and inspection procedures.
According to USDA.gov, plans for the Oglala Sioux and Santee Sioux tribes are under review. The Yankton Sioux Tribe is drafting a plan for USDA review.
Governor Noem's Office has released a statement, adding that the governor is aware of the decision and will work with public safety officials and tribal leaders to ensure law enforcement is equipped to enforce South Dakota’s laws and keep people safe.
The approved plan for the Flandreau Santee Tribe can be viewed here.