Hemp bill passes House committee with amendments

 

PIERRE, S.D. — HB1008B, a bill to legalize the growth and transportation of hemp in South Dakota cleared the House Agriculture and Natural Resources committee Thursday morning.

The bill was heavily amended by Governor Kristi Noem’s office before being passed on an 11 yes, 2 excused vote.  HB1008B will now be sent to the full House for debate.

House Majority Leader Lee Qualm says he feels ‘really good’ about the current bill but added that there’s still work to be done.

Governor Noem vetoed a similar bill in 2019, saying that the legalization of hemp production in South Dakota was a ‘gateway’ to legalizing marijuana.  She agreed to partner with lawmakers this year provided that the bill include what she referred to as her “Four Guardrails.” 

The amended bill covers three of the four guardrails, with the exception of the ‘funding’ component, requiring roughly $3.5 million in funds without specifying where that funding will come from.

According to Committee Chair Thomas Brunner (R-Dist 29), the bill was being ‘held hostage’. Several members of the committee expressed similar frustrations over how the state would fund hemp testing and transportation if HB1008 were to fail to pass.

Acknowledging those concerns, Qualm told reporters afterwards that the bill still had work to be done, but that he was confident it would receive a favorable reception on the full floor of the House.

Categories: Politics & Elections, South Dakota News