State Senate Sustains Gov. Noem Veto Of Hemp

Mar 12, 2019

Credit Jenifer Jones / SDPB

South Dakota lawmakers are failing to override a Governor Kristi Noem veto on legalizing industrial hemp production.

The legislature sent a bill to the governor’s desk Monday. Republican Governor Noem quickly vetoed the legislation, siting concerns about law enforcement response, federal regulation and a non-intoxicant component of the cannabis plant called CBD. That component is generally turned into oil.

Democratic State Representative Oren Lesmeister led the charge on passing industrial hemp legalization.

He says similar issue will arise the next time lawmakers try to pass a hemp bill

“Now the other issue we’re probably going to have to deal with that won’t be here is industry,” Lesmeister says. “That was always the issue before is, ‘we have no where to take it.’ This time we had somewhere to take it. This time the United States Congress had made it legal to do this. Now, if industry leaves, we’re right back to square one. That’s why, at this moment, I don’t know if South Dakota will ever have industrialized hemp.”

Lesmeister says he won’t bring a hemp bill next session.

He says he’s concerned about South Dakota’s response to hemp going forward, with surrounding states having legalized the plant and the state’s tribes also indicating they’ll produce the crop.

He says the state can’t impede interstate commerce.