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Hemp Bill Could Get Thursday Hearing

Lee Strubinger

State lawmakers anticipate a hemp legislation draft will drop this week.

Legislative leadership and the governor say they’re working on amendments to the bill.

Negotiations over a few tweaks to the hemp legislation took place last week. The debate over the bill may boil down to cost.

Noem says talks between executive and legislative branches are making good progress.

“There will be a cost to tax payers to stand this program up and I wanted the legislators to make sure they pay for it,” Noem says. “We’re working on language and I believe that we will be finalizing that next week.”

The ranking Republican in the House says there’s one-time money to cover initial cost. The program is designed fund itself going forward.

House Majority Leader Lee Qualm says cost associated to regulating a hemp program has to get funded regardless of the legislature approving one.

“With the tribes moving forward, with interstate commerce moving forward, we have to have our law enforcement, our health department, our department of ag all ready to step up and do what they need to do. That’s stuff that needs to be done no matter what. That will all be in those departments. We had a good discussion about that.”

Qualm says he anticipates a hearing on the bill this Thursday.

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