South Dakota House passes industrial hemp bill, sends it to Senate

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The industrial hemp bill has passed the South Dakota House and is now headed to the Senate.

The House passed HB 1008 in a 54-12 vote on Tuesday. The bill needs a two-thirds majority vote to pass because it includes an emergency clause that would put the bill into effect immediately upon being signed into law.

The House didn’t debate the bill, and the entire bill took less than five minutes on the House floor on Tuesday afternoon.

The industrial hemp bill has been a “work in progress” since Gov. Kristi Noem vetoed it last year, bill sponsor Rep. Lee Qualm, R-Platte, said while presenting the bill to the House. A legislative committee was created to study the issue before the 2020 session, and the result was HB 1008.

The bill was amended once the session began, and that amendment was a collaboration between legislators and the state departments of agriculture, public safety and health, Qualm said. It addresses three of four of the “guardrails” that Noem wanted: reliable enforcement, responsible regulation and safe transportation. Qualm said the Legislature is working “diligently” on the fourth guardrail, which is the funding needed to implement a state hemp program. [Read more at Sioux Falls Argus Leader]