PIERRE, S.D. (Feb. 27, 2017) – A South Dakota bill that would legalize the production and processing of industrial hemp for commercial purposes, and set the foundation to end federal prohibition in practice, passed the House last week.

The Committee on State Affairs introduced House Bill 1204 (HB1204) on Feb. 3. Under the proposed law, any person with a license could plant, grow, harvest, possess, process, sell, and buy industrial hemp.

The bill specifically bars the department from making licensing contingent on federal permission, and the HB1204 passed the House last Thursday by a 51-16 vote.

By rejecting any need for federal approval, HB1204 sets the stage to nullify the federal hemp ban in practice. South Dakota could join with other states – including Colorado, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, California and Vermont – that have simply ignored federal prohibition and legalized industrial hemp production within their state borders.

While prospective hemp growers would still have to take federal law into consideration, by eliminating the state requirement for federal permission, the South Dakota law would clear away a major obstacle to widespread commercial hemp farming within the borders of the state.


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Source:  Tenth Amendment Center



Hemp by LL, ND, on Flickr
Hemp” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by LL, ND

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