South Dakota governor vetoes legal hemp production

The hopes for legal hemp production in South Dakota came to a halt when Gov. Kristi Noem vetoed a bill approved by the state’s Legislature.

Concerned that South Dakota was “not ready” for legalized hemp production because it would prove too difficult for law enforcement to regulate, Noem previously made it known she was opposed to the bill, though she had not threatened a veto.

“There is no question in my mind that normalizing hemp, like legalizing marijuana, is part of a larger strategy to undermine enforcement of the drug laws and make legalized marijuana inevitable,” Noem said in a statement accompanying her veto.

The South Dakota House passed the bill Monday. The state Senate approved the legislation last week but did not achieve the two-thirds support necessary to override Noem’s veto on Monday.

Last week, Wyoming’s governor signed the first state-level hemp law under the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill.

Wyoming Rep. Bunky Loucks, who sponsored his state’s hemp legalization bill, said last week Wyoming would benefit if Noem vetoed legalization in South Dakota, according to the Rapid City Journal.

– Associated Press