Noem outlines a path forward for decriminalizing industrial hemp in South Dakota
PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem proposed four “guardrails” that could allow a path forward for the legalization of industrial hemp.
“Over the last year, we’ve had a long conversation about legalizing hemp, and everyone knows that I don’t think it’s a good idea,” Noem said in a statement.
“Last year, I vetoed a bill that didn’t address concerns surrounding public safety, law enforcement, or funding. I asked the legislature to wait until we had direction from the federal government and a plan to address those concerns. Now since that time, things have changed. Federal guidelines have been put in place, a South Dakota tribe has been given the green light on production, and other states’ actions mean we need to address hemp transportation through our state. The legislative summer study also did great work, and they included some good ideas.”
Noem outlined the guardrails in a news release Thursday.
Growth or possession of hemp is a consent to an inspection and search.
Agency authorization to inspect fields and loads, confiscate or seize, and destroy or dispose of unlawful help without liability, and the actual costs of disposal must be paid by the grower or possessor.
Sale or use of hemp and hemp derivatives for smoking is prohibited.
An annual statistical report by the Attorney General to the Governor and Legislature will be required that will state how this act affects criminal drug prosecutions.
Reasonable regulations regarding licensing, reporting and inspections that are at least compliant with USDA standards.
Minimum land area size of contiguous outdoor five acres.
Appropriate fee structures for the application, annual license and inspection.
A permit is required for all transportation of hemp.
Appropriate legal consequences for hemp transported without documentation.
Department of Public Safety costs for nine full time equivalents nine seasonal inspectors will include $1.157 million in one-time costs and $1.4 million in ongoing costs.
South Dakota Department of Agriculture projected costs include $36,586 in one-time costs and $349,697 in ongoing costs.
Department of Health costs include the cost to hire two full time lab chemists with one-time costs at $705,700 and ongoing costs at $198,739.
“Given all that we need to accomplish this session, if we can get this done in the coming weeks, it would be a good way to kick off this year’s legislative session,” Noem said in a statement.