Debunking Governor Kristi Noem’s Reasons For Stopping Industrial Hemp In South Dakota

  • Noem announced her veto on House Bill 1191 on Monday evening
  • An attempt to override Noem’s veto failed in the Senate on Tuesday
  • On Tuesday Noem released a video attempting to explain her decision

Cannabis is becoming more accepted across the country, which is why so many were stunned to see that South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem vetoed House Bill 1191 for industrial hemp.

The House voted House voted 55-11 to override Noem’s veto, but the Senate failed to reach the needed two-thirds majority with the final vote being 20-13. Noem announced her veto on Monday and claimed South Dakota “is not ready for industrial hemp.”

In a video released on Noem’s Facebook on Tuesday, she went into more detail about why she believes the state is not ready for industrial hemp. Her first excuse was that law enforcement is not ready for hemp. In specific, drug dogs would not be able to tell the difference between hemp and cannabis. Throughout the video, dramatic music plays in the background as Noem makes false claims against the hemp industry.

Noem says that drug dogs will hit on hemp just like they hit on marijuana. The video then shows an officer with a drug dog running over to what is assumed to be industrial hemp. If you go back and watch, the dog actually runs past the hemp target. The clip then quickly cuts to the dog laying next to the hemp and the officer is pointing at the hemp.

Noem goes on to claim that hemp looks and smells like cannabis, which means South Dakota law enforcement would not be able to tell the difference. According to Greg Giuntini from DetectaChem Inc., there is an inexpensive answer to that problem. For it to be legal hemp, there must be under 0.3% THC content. Giuntini told Law Enforcement Today that DetectaChem sells an inexpensive test kit that can tell the difference between cannabis and legal hemp.

The legal concentration differentiating hemp from cannabis is the THC content remaining under 0.3%. Law enforcement can benefit from something like the MobileDetect trace THC pouches as an inexpensive tool to differentiate hemp from marijuana.

Next, Noem blamed the instability of the 2019 federal guidelines for the industrial hemp industry. Noem in specific claims they won’t “know if a market is available to them. They won’t have insurance.” However, those in the industrial hemp industry say the exact opposite. A December article in Forbes reads, “American hemp farmers in 2019 can also look forward to new protections that conventional farmers have always enjoyed.” In specific, the article claims hemp farmers can expect crop insurance, legal interstate travel, and banking services.

Last, Noem claims somehow the industrial hemp bill became about the CBD industry. Noem says CBD is a drug that is currently “unregulated” and “unapproved” by the FDA. She states that CBD is derived from cannabis, but apparently is unaware that CBD is not made from industrial hemp strains.

As Pot Network points out, there are two different types of harvests for industrial hemp farmers. Farmers either grow their plants to harvest the fibers of the plant which is used in rope and other products, or to harvest the hemp seed which is used in foods and other hemp-based products. The plants used typically grow very fast and very tall and are extremely low on THC. The number of industrial hemp plants it would take to manufacture a decent amount of quality oil would most certainly lose the farmer money even from a black market perspective.

The hemp plants used in CBD oil is not the same as the plants used in industrial hemp production. The vast majority of CBD on the market comes from strains that went through years and years of breeding to produce high levels of the specific cannabinoid while producing little to no THC. These strains are commonly known as CBD-rich hemp, or PCR hemp (phytocannabinoid rich hemp). These CBD-rich hemp plants are grown like regular cannabis, and their requirements are far from ideal for industrial hemp.

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Meko Haze is an independent journalist by day... and an independent journalist by night.

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