Bill is now heading to the Senate for review and consideration
By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
Farmers in South Dakota could soon be legally allowed to grow industrial hemp.
South Dakota’s House of Representatives voted 57-11 in favor of a bill that would allow industrial hemp to be cultivated.
The bill will now head to the Senate for deliberation.
The bill’s main House sponsor, Mike Verchio, says allowing farmers to grow industrial hemp can help with economic development and job creation.
If approved, farmers can apply to the state Department of Agriculture to grow industrial hemp – provided they pass background checks; earlier in February, North Dakota state Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring chose three farms to test if industrial hemp can be successfully grown.
For those concerned about hemp’s close link to marijuana, Verchio said the South Dakota bill restricts the amount of THC – the main ingredient responsible for marijuana’s effects.
“Upon meeting the requirements of sections 2 to 6 inclusive, of this Act, any person in this state may plant, grow, harvest, possess, process, sell, and buy industrial hemp (cannabis sativa l.) having no more than three-tenths of one percent tetrahydrocannabinol,” part of the bill reads.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia allow for hemp to be grown for either commercial or research use.