Minn. hemp industry wants charges dropped against truck driver carrying hemp through SD

Published: Aug. 20, 2019 at 1:08 PM CDT
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The Minnesota Hemp Association is protesting an arrest in South Dakota of a truck driver delivering legally grown hemp from Colorado to a processor in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Hemp Association said in a press release, "What this situation highlights is the serious deficiency of consistent laws around hemp cultivation, transportation, processing, and selling,” said Joe Radinovich, Executive Director of the Minnesota Hemp Association. “A Minnesota Hemp Association member expected a shipment of legally grown hemp. Instead, their driver was arrested and their hemp was confiscated in a state that isn’t complying with the Farm Bill and allowing hemp to be transported.”

The Agriculture Improvement Act, often referred to as the Farm Bill, was signed into law in December 2018. Within the bill, hemp (cannabis containing less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was formally legalized and provisions were outlined for its cultivation, transport, and sale.

A bill to legalize hemp growth in South Dakota was passed by the Legislature in March, but was vetoed by Gov. Kristi Noem.

On Monday, Noem urged lawmakers to consider "extensive questions" regarding industrial hemp as a state committee meets to discuss the potential crop.

“The Minnesota Hemp Association is an advocate for those working in the legal hemp industry,” Radinovich said. “We expect to see the charges against the driver dropped, hemp legalized in South Dakota, and more legal clarity at a federal level to ensure good people making an honest living in the hemp industry are able to do so without fear of legal action taken against them without cause.”