Governor Noem signs Pregnancy Expenses Bill into Law & vetoed HB1209(Classifying marijuana as hemp)

PIERRE, S.D.(Press Release) – On Thursday, Governor Noem signed SB 75 into law. This legislation provides for all pregnancy expenses to be covered by both parents.

“South Dakota will continue to strengthen families and promote life,” said Governor Noem. “The gift of a child too often comes with financial burden. Mothers should never have to take that on alone. It is the responsibility of both the mother and the father to equally pay expenses related to pregnancy.”

Governor Noem also signed the following 11 bills to take care of people into law:

  • SB 67 – Revises provisions related to emergency and involuntary commitment for alcohol and drug abuse;
  • SB 89 – Increases the daily maximum award for the alternative care program administered by the Unified Judicial System;
  • SB 172 – Makes an appropriation for the design costs related to the health services center at Black Hills State University-Rapid City;
  • HB 1022 – Makes an appropriation for increased costs related to the construction of the new state public health laboratory;
  • HB 1053 – Prohibits the issuance of a written certification to a pregnant woman or breastfeeding mother for purposes of medical cannabis use;
  • HB 1078 – Makes an appropriation to the Department of Human Services for the development and expansion of adult day services programs;
  • HB 1079 – Makes an appropriation to the Department of Health to provide grants to support mental health and suicide prevention programs;
  • HB 1135 – Provides for transparency in the pricing of prescription drugs;
  • HB 1154 – Modifies acceptable conduct for practitioners related to medical cannabis;
  • HB 1155 – Adds dental practices as eligible factors to participate in rural health care recruitment assistance program; and,
  • HB 1174 – Provides for appropriate civil commitment of certain persons.

Governor Kristi Noem VETOED House Bill 1209, which would increase the amount of THC allowed in industrial hemp to 5%, classifying marijuana as hemp. You can find Governor Noem’s VETO letter here.

“Federally, marijuana is classified as anything that contains over 0.3% THC,” said Governor Noem. “If this bill were to become law, South Dakota would allow hemp products and crops to contain over sixteen times more THC than is currently allowed at the federal level.”

Last year, the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources worked with members of the hemp industry, as well as legislators, to compromise and allow for 1% THC levels for a production in process. Research shows that 1% THC levels are the trigger for causing psychotropic effects on humans.

“Only two states allow a product in process to contain up to 5% TCH: Colorado and New York, both of which have legalized recreational marijuana,” continued Governor Noem. “South Dakota voters spoke clearly this past November: they do not want recreational marijuana. If I allowed this bill to become law, it would jeopardize the clearly expressed will of the people. Increasing the THC level to 5% would hinder our successful hemp program and undermine enforcement of our drug laws.”

Governor Noem has signed 196 bills and vetoed five this legislative session.