Noem drops plans to veto hemp, but calls for ‘guardrails’

As recently as late last year, Governor Kristi Noem continued to say she would veto any bill legalizing hemp production that hit her desk.

That changed Thursday as the governor issued a video that proposes a path forward for legalizing industrial hemp.

Noem says things have changed. She says federal guidelines have been issued, a South Dakota tribe has been given the green light on production and other states’ actions means there is a need to address hemp transportation through South Dakota.  She also says the interim summer study committee came up with some good ideas.

Noem says she won’t veto a hemp bill provided it contains four “guardrails” she provided to lawmakers. She wants reliable enforcement standards; regulations regarding licensing, reporting and inspections; a plan for transporting the product and a way to pay for the hemp program.

The Legislative session begins Tuesday.