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At least for now, South Dakota will not be joining the hemp boom. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is vowing to veto a hemp legalization bill set for next year and any similar measures that arrive on her desk.

Noem confirms this in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. She writes that she believes legalizing hemp also effectively legalizes all forms of cannabis. She has already vetoed a bill legalizing hemp agriculture that was passed in March. In her veto, she states that “normalizing hemp… is part of a larger strategy to undermine enforcement of the drug laws.”

Her stance continues to face pushback from the agriculture community. The editorial board of Agweek writes this month that Noem has “taken a public position that clearly works against South Dakota agriculture.” They also cite the profit potential from hemp as something that many South Dakota farmers urgently need.

Contrary to Noem’s beliefs, legalizing hemp and hemp products does not legalize all forms of cannabis. The 2018 Farm Bill clearly states that all hemp-derived CBD products must contain less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. Lazarus Naturals continues to comply with this and all other federal regulations.

What Can South Dakota Do?

It is possible for the state legislature to override a veto. They were only a few votes short in overriding Noem’s veto earlier this year. House Majority Leader Lee Qualm confirms another hemp legalization bill will be ready for next session. He tells the Argus Leader that the legislature “will work very diligently” to override a veto from Noem if necessary.

We also encourage our customers in South Dakota to contact their elected officials on this matter. Make your voice known and help determine the future of hemp in South Dakota.

Click here to contact both of South Dakota’s senators and “at-large” representative.

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