Governor Kristi Noem today issued the following statement regarding the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new regulatory guidelines for industrial hemp:
“USDA’s guidelines are out, but my position on legalizing industrial hemp has not changed. I remain 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 does not preempt a state’s ability to adopt stronger requirements or prohibit production. South Dakota state law prohibits industrial hemp production, and that statute still stands. The guidelines do require the State to permit interstate transportation of hemp. My team is working to ensure we have proper procedures in place so this doesn’t become something that weakens our drug laws.
Conversations around hemp will continue, and I will continue to make the case that legalizing hemp will legalize marijuana by default.”