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UPDATE: Noem veto of hemp survives override

(KEVN)
Published: Mar. 12, 2019 at 10:13 AM CDT
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The Latest on a push to override Gov. Kristi Noem's veto of a bill to legalize industrial hemp (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

An attempt to override South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem's veto of a hemp legalization bill has failed in the Legislature.

The 20-13 Senate vote Tuesday was short of the two-thirds needed to overcome Noem's veto. It came after the House easily voted to override Noem earlier in the day.

Senate Democratic leader Troy Heinert, a supporter, says the bill was right for South Dakota's producers and residents who want to use, grow and manufacture the product.

Noem said Monday that "normalizing" hemp is part of a bigger strategy to make legal marijuana inevitable. She also said legalizing hemp would make law enforcement's job tougher.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says at least 41 states have enacted hemp growing and production programs.

The 2018 federal farm bill legalized cultivation of industrial hemp nationally.

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1:20 p.m.

South Dakota's House has voted to override Republican Gov. Kristi Noem's veto of a bill to legalize industrial hemp production in the state.

Representatives voted 55-11 Tuesday to override Noem, teeing up a showdown in the Senate. The push could face trouble in the Senate, which didn't pass the bill with the two-thirds support that would be needed for an override.

The main sponsor, Democratic Rep. Oren Lesmeister, asked representatives again to stand behind the bill.

Noem said in her Monday veto message that "normalizing" hemp was part of a bigger strategy to make marijuana legalization inevitable. She says the bill would make law enforcement's job more difficult.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says at least 41 states have enacted hemp growing and production programs.

The 2018 federal farm bill legalized cultivation of industrial hemp nationally. Supporters say planting hemp wouldn't even happen until 2020 under the South Dakota proposal.

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9:53 a.m.

The sponsor of a bill to legalize industrial hemp production in South Dakota says supporters will try to overcome Republican Gov. Kristi Noem's veto of the measure.

Democratic Rep. Oren Lesmeister says the override attempt would come Tuesday, a day after Noem rejected the measure. Lesmeister says the veto wasn't surprising, but that some of Noem's comments were.

Noem said in her veto message that "normalizing" hemp was part of a bigger strategy to make marijuana legalization inevitable. She says the bill would make law enforcement's job more difficult.

A successful veto override appears unlikely. The bill fell short of passing through the Senate with the two-thirds support that would be needed.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says at least 41 states have enacted hemp growing and production programs.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

South Dakota Farmers Union Disappointed with Noem's Veto of Industrial Hemp

South Dakota Farmers Union President Doug Sombke released the following statement:

"The failure of the South Dakota Senate to override the Governor's veto on House Bill 1191, is a crushing defeat for farmers and ranchers across South Dakota," said Sombke, also a fourth-generation Conde farmer. "It doesn't make sense.

Why would Governor Noem veto a bill legalizing industrial hemp, when as a representative, she voted for it in the 2018 farm bill?

When agriculture is our state's number one economic driver, this veto shows a lack of forward thinking.

Companies were ready to purchase South Dakota's hemp crop. This new crop would have provided new jobs and opportunities for South Dakotans during a time when many commodity markets are down, and family farmers and ranchers are looking for new opportunities.

It's a sad day when South Dakota's Governor's does not understand the differences between hemp as a viable crop and marijuana an illegal plant.

As one of the state's largest farm organizations, South Dakota Farmers Union will work to educate the legislature and the governor on these differences in hopes that an industrial hemp legislation will pass in 2020." 

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