Flandreau tribe files suit against USDA over hemp production

Published: Jun. 5, 2019 at 1:34 PM CDT
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The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe is suing the U.S. Department of Agriculture and its secretary, Sonny Perdue, over the tribe's plan to grow industrial hemp.

The 2018 Farm Bill directs the USDA to regulate industrial hemp production on state and tribal land. Under the law, the USDA is required to review state and tribal plans within 60 days.

In a federal lawsuit, the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe says it sent the USDA its plan back in March but is still waiting for it to be approved.

The USDA says it was slowed by the recent government shutdown and has yet to establish industrial hemp regulations. It says it can't approve any plans until those rules are established.

At a motion hearing Wednesday, the tribe asked a federal judge to allow it to move forward with the plan while the case continues.

The judge says an opinion will be issued within the next day.