Gov. Noem says she could support legalizing hemp if ‘done right’ – KELO AM-FM

Gov. Noem says she could support legalizing hemp if 'done right' - KELO AM-FM

However, she says there’s no money this year to do that

Tuesday, December 10, 2019 11:21 a.m. CST

Hemp. Photo from KWAT.

WATERTOWN, S.D. ( — The 2020 South Dakota legislative session is just over a month away. 

One issue that got a lot of attention last session will be front and center again in Pierre.

It’s the argument over legalizing the production and sale of industrial hemp in the state.

During a recent stop in Watertown, Governor Kristi Noem was asked if there’s a scenario where she’d support a hemp bill. She said she would support it if it were “done right,” which she says would cost $10-$12 million. Noem says the state doesn’t have the money for that right now.  

Chief among the governor’s concerns is differentiating hemp from marijuana. 

Noem says there are indications the hemp debate has morphed into a political argument.

A hemp bill passed the Legislature in 2019 but was vetoed by Governor Noem.

(Mike Tanner, KWAT, contributed this report.) 

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