Governor Kristi Noem today (March 11) vetoed HB1191 and sent a message to the South Dakota House of Representatives.

House Bill 1191 is an act to legalize the growth, production, and processing of industrial hemp and derivative products in the state.

In her written statement to the speaker and members of the House of Representatives, Noem provided her concerns and reasons for the veto, concluding that South Dakota is not ready for industrial hemp.

Noem's primary objection is the challenge she believes will be presented to law enforcement. "HB 1191 complicates law enforcement searches and provides a ready-made defense for those breaking our drug laws," said Noem. "This poorly drafted bill changes the definition of marijuana with little regard for the implications elsewhere in our Code. It would create uncertainty for prosecution under our ingestion statute because the source of THC is placed in doubt when industrial hemp products that contain small amounts of THC, such as cannabidiol or CBD, are legalized."

Noem has previously commented that drug dogs hit on all types of hemp, whether it is industrial or the recreational type with a higher level of THC.

Noem says the bill is cloaked as a financial win for South Dakota farmers while she believes it is truly about CDB, a hemp derivative that some claim has health benefits. The statement reminds state lawmakers that the FDA has not provided regulation regarding CBD.

Other concerns are to the timing of the bill, stating that federal regulations are not in place and won't be until 2019 and she wants to follow the federal guidelines rather than moving ahead of their regulations.

Noem is voicing concern in her letter to lawmakers that the potential growth of industrial hemp is also a stepping stone to legalize marijuana, stating that most letters she has received in support of the bill have come from those who claim to be for the legalization of all marijuana.

The issue of growing industrial hemp was first approached by lawmakers when the new farm bill included its cultivation. While Noem says the bill is premature, proponents say the law would not go into effect until July of 2019, which is anticipated to be even closer to the timeframe that federal regulations would become available.

North Dakota has an industrial hemp program which has been monitored by lawmakers in South Dakota. Concerns of regulating the crop to ensure low levels of THC have been answered by seed regulation, which mainly comes from Canada.

The bill now goes back to the South Dakota Legislature, to see if the first Veto from the newly elected Governor Noem will be overridden. South Dakota requires a two-thirds vote from both of its legislative chambers to override a veto.

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