House passes hemp proposal

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – The South Dakota House has passed a proposal to legalize and regulate the growth, processing and transportation of industrial hemp in the state. Legislators didn’t even debate the bill as it passed with a two-thirds majority.

It will next be considered by the Senate. If that body also passes it and Gov. Kristi Noem signs it into law, it could go into effect immediately. Funding could be a sticking point. Noem’s office estimates it would cost about $3.5 million to get the program up and running. She wants legislators to figure out how to make room in the budget for it.