News: Nov 30 - Dec 6

Dec 6, 2019

This week’s South Dakota news features conversations about the budget address, which includes $9 million in reductions to state agencies, and how South Dakota Voices for Peace is working to bring social cohesion and coexistence amongst different groups to the state.

Summer Study Passes Hemp Draft Legislation

Dec 2, 2019
Jamie Edwards / North Dakota Hemp Farmer

A legislative summer study is passing along a bill that establishes a framework for farmers to grow hemp in South Dakota.

It’s the group’s first meeting since the USDA issued its guidelines for industrial hemp programs.

Despite that, some remain opposed to the idea.

The six page draft legislation still has a tall hill to climb, but state lawmakers are confident in the bill.

Noem Still Opposes Hemp Despite Federal Guidance

Nov 5, 2019
Office of Governor Kristi Noem

Governor Kristi Noem says she will continue to oppose industrial hemp, despite the USDA releasing a framework for states to follow.

She says legalizing hemp legalizes marijuana by default.

Governor Noem says she remains opposed to industrial hemp in South Dakota because of the impact it will have on public safety and law enforcement’s ability to enforce drug laws.

USDA Releases Draft Version Of Hemp Production Rules

Oct 29, 2019
Lee Strubinger / SDPB

The USDA is releasing a draft version of its rules for a hemp production program.

The rules provide a framework for hemp production across the country.

One state lawmaker says a provision in the draft opens hemp production up to farmers whether a state has an approved plan or not.

News: Aug 24 - 30

Aug 30, 2019

Democratic State Representative Michael Saba discusses new ways to bring money into South Dakota. Rosebud and the Fort Belknap Indian Community have sued President Trump for violating treaties. South Dakota parents, educators and health officials are facing a four-year gap in data about risky youth. A Sanford Health researcher talks vaping. Hemp crop insurance is on the way despite Governor Noem’s opposition.

In the Moment News: July 1-7

Jul 3, 2019

Representative Jean Hunhoff discusses the mental health task force she chairs. State Representative Nancy Rasmussen explains the Special Education Interim Study Committee. Representative Lee Qualm and Representative Oren Lesmeister talk industrial hemp. SDPB’s Lee Strubinger reports on freshman state legislator Scyller Borglum’s announcement to run for the U.S. Senate in 2020. Political Junky Jon Hunter discuss this week in South Dakota politics. 

Hemp Summer Study

Jul 2, 2019

In The Moment ... July 2, 2019 Show 608 Hour 2

A group of South Dakota Legislators will get together this summer to study the regulation and the costs of putting an industrial hemp program in place.

Republican Representative Lee Qualm chairs the study. He represents District 21. Democratic Representative Oren Lesmeister led the charge for industrial hemp legislation earlier this year. He represents District 28A.

Dakota Political Junkies

Jun 12, 2019

In The Moment ... June 12, 2019 Show 594 Hour 2

It's that time of the week where we bring in the Dakota Political Junkies. Today we have Jonathan Ellis with the Sioux Falls Argus Leader and Jon Schaff, political science professor at Northern State University in Aberdeen.

Today the discussion includes the Keystone KL Pipeline and Hemp/2019 Farm Bill.

Lee Strubinger / SDPB

  *This story has been updated to reflect a USDA clarification that tribes are allowed to grow hemp only under the 2014 Farm Bill if they're in a "partnership or contract with an institution of higher education or a State department of agriculture."

Despite the cold, wet spring and a late planting season, once again there is a hemp crop growing in the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Alex White Plume has been raising hemp for years, but this is his first since the federal government legalized industrial hemp production.


In The Moment ... March 13, 2019 Show 534 Hour 2

Dakota Political Junkies Seth Tupper and Jon Schaff visit about news from the State Capitol in Pierre on the 39th and final day of the 2019 South Dakota Legislature.

Items include the Keystone XL bills, money for nursing homes, hemp, and more.

  Reporting on politics and public policy is supported by The Center for Western Studies at Augustana University

Deb Soholt online

The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee has moved hemp cultivation a step closer to being legal in South Dakota. Committee members heard more than two hours of testimony and discussion on Thursday, Feb. 28, before voting to send HB 1191 to the floor of the Senate.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has more of this story.

Hemp Legalization Passes House

Feb 11, 2019
Jamie Edwards / North Dakota Hemp Farmer

A house bill that legalizes the growth, production and processing of industrial hemp is now headed to the Senate chambers.

House lawmakers approve legalizing hemp, with only two members voting against the bill.

In 2017, House lawmakers passed a bill authorizing hemp production. That bill stalled in the senate.

Democratic State Representative Oren Lesmeister is the prime sponsor of the bill. This year, he says state department heads and groups are crafting this bill that haven’t before.

SD Legislative Research Council

South Dakota farmers wanting to grow hemp crossed a legal hurdle on Thursday, Feb. 7.

The House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources approved a bill that lays out regulations for hemp cultivation.

This state legislation follows the decriminalization of hemp in the 2018 federal farm bill.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

SD Legislative Research Council

Hemp-derived cannabidiol, or CBD, is on its way to being clearly removed from a list of scheduled drugs in South Dakota.

The Health and Human Services Committee passed an amended bill on Wednesday, Jan. 23, to clear up concerns of hemp activists who testified last week against Senate Bill 22. They said the bill appeared to criminalize possession of hemp CBD without a prescription.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.


The Senate Health and Human Services Committee will reconsider a bill that regulates cannabidiol, or CBD, a Schedule IV drug in South Dakota.

That means CBD is available only by prescription.

Opponents to Senate Bill 22 say it criminalizes hemp CBD and prevents the state from exploring hemp as a crop. SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Victoria Wicks

Hemp activists in South Dakota intend to ask the legislature to clear up confusion surrounding the recent decriminalization of hemp.

In the most recent farm bill, Congress legalized hemp. The plant had been listed by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule I drug, a dangerous substance with no medicinal value.

Now it's a crop, albeit one needing a license from the USDA.

The Food and Drug Administration also claims jurisdiction over hemp cannabidiol, or CBD, when it is touted as having medicinal value.

Hemp Getting Roots In North Dakota Despite Drought

Sep 26, 2017
Jamie Edwards / North Dakota Hemp Farmer

Some South Dakota farmers are watching closely as North Dakota brings in its second industrial hemp crop.

It’s a pilot program that South Dakota lawmakers have eyed in the past.

There was even a bill to create a hemp pilot program that stalled in the statehouse last year.

When the Ag economy started to dip a few years ago, Jamie Edwards and his father started looking for a different crop to toss into their rotation.

Cara Hetland / SDPB

House Bill 1204, an act to authorize the growth and sale of industrialized hemp in South Dakota, passed the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee by a vote of nine to two on Feb. 16.

It now moves to the House floor.

White Plume Hopes To Plant Hemp In 2017

Mar 30, 2016

Oglala Lakota hemp farmer Alex White Plume says he wants to harvest the wild hemp seeds growing on his land and plant a new crop next year.
In the late 1990’s the Oglala Sioux Tribe legalized industrial hemp, but when White Plume tried to grow it, federal agents seized his crop.

White Plume has been under a federal injunction prohibiting him from growing the crop, but that injunction was recently lifted.

Statehouse Podcast: Ed Funding & Hemp Bills Die

Feb 18, 2016

The Statehouse Podcast for February 2nd, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on education funding, hemp, and vehicular homicide.

Statehouse Podcast: Hemp Bill Passes, Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced, Capitol Conceal Carry Fails

Feb 4, 2016
Jenifer Jones

The Statehouse Podcast for February 4th, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on industrial hemp, and medical marijuana along with a bill allowing lawmakers to carry a concealed handgun in the capitol.  The podcast also includes coverage of  a bill requiring mandatory meningitis vaccination for middle school students and a bill dealing with science curriculum requirements - plus other legislation. 


Statehouse Podcast: Hemp, Abortion Facility Inspections, and Fetal Body Parts

Feb 2, 2016
Jenifer Jones

The Statehouse Podcast for February 2nd, 2016 includes stories on legislation dealing with hemp growing, abortion facility inspections, fetal body parts, and gates on fences over streams to allow kayakers and canoes through.

Committee Passes Bill Allowing Industrial Hemp

Feb 2, 2016

Members of a state House committee voted in favor of a bill allowing the production and sale of industrial hemp. Farmers have to go through a permitting process before growing the crop.

Voters May Again Decide On Medical Marijuana

Nov 10, 2015
Google Images

South Dakota voters may have another chance to approve or turn down medical marijuana.
Proponents of a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for medical use turned in roughly 16-thousand signatures to the Secretary of State’s office.  About 13-thousand are needed to put the issue before voters.  State officials are now working to verify the petitions.

Efforts Underway To Ban Alcohol And Tobacco In SD

Aug 14, 2015

A group is now working to  make booze and tobacco illegal in South Dakota.
Two separate petitions are circulating to add the criminalization of alcohol and tobacco to the 2016 ballot.  Another petition would ask voters to decriminalize marijuana.

Lakota Hemp Farmer Fights For The Right To Plant

Jul 30, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

A Lakota farmer is fighting for the right to plant a new crop of industrial hemp on Pine Ridge.
Alex White Plume began growing hemp in the late 1990’s after the Oglala Sioux Tribe legalized the crop for industrial use.   
But drug enforcement agents soon seized the White Plume crop.   He spent several years fighting in federal court and is under an injunction restricting his ability to plant again, despite new provisions in the Farm Bill that open the door for the crop.