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South Dakota submits state hemp plan to USDA

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PIERRE, S.D. — A plan that would determine how South Dakota regulates industrial hemp has been submitted to the United States Department of Agriculure for final approval.

The state’s hemp program manager, Derek Schiefelbein, said the state plans to develop the program in the meantime.

“Processors and growers can look for more information for how to apply in the near future,” Schiefelbein said.

Schiefelbein previously served as state surveyor.

The legalization of hemp production in South Dakota came after Gov. Kristi Noem signed legislation approving the state’s plan, which had to meet certain guidelines to avoid a veto.

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Noem vetoed a hemp bill during the 2019 legislative session.

Lawmakers in support of the bill frequently warned that a hemp crop is not something producers should attempt to grow without extensive research and vetting of hemp seed dealers.

Hemp operations would need to be outdoors on at least five continuous acres. No indoor growing is allowed at this point.

All plants need to have a THC content of 0.03% or less. If tests determine that the plants exceed this level, they can be retested. If the second test shows the hemp plant still has a content over the allowed THC amounts, the crop must be destroyed.

The USDA application review process can take up to 60 days.

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