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Madville Times Bill 101: Legalize Industrial Hemp in South Dakota

Last updated on 2014.01.06

Rep. Isaac Laterrell is asking online constituents to give him input on do-nothing resolutions so he can spend his time in Pierre grandstanding about talk-radio issues. Big hairy deal. The Madville Times Legislative Project asked you, dear readers, for ideas for practical legislation to deal with practical South Dakota issues. And you've come through! Thank you!

So, as promised, here is the first draft of Madville Times Bill 101, the first of five legislative proposals from the many you have submitted to this blog over the last several days. I'll post the other four as the day progresses. Use the comment section to offer your input, seek clarification, propose amendments, or to tell us that we're all generally full of it. By next Friday, January 10, I'll send all five bills, in amended form to reflect your best ideas, to the South Dakota Legislature's leadership and to my District 8 Senator and Representatives. Onward, democracy!

Madville Times Bill 101

FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to legalize and promote the cultivation of industrial hemp and the production of industrial hemp-based goods in South Dakota.


Section 1. Industrial hemp, cannabis sativa, is exempted from all state laws restricting the cultivation, distribution, possession, and use of marijuana and other controlled substances.

Section 2: Hemp production credit: County auditors shall reduce the property tax assessment on agricultural land by three dollars per acre in any year in which that land is used for the production of industrial hemp. County auditors shall apply the hemp production credit only to land used in active crop production as of January 1, 2014.

Section 3: The state will remit to each county the amount disbursed in the hemp production credit with funds from the Governor's Future Fund.

Section 4: In each fiscal year, the Governor shall disburse no other funds from the Future Fund until all hemp production credit remittances have been paid to each county.

Section 5: Ethanol and other biofuel plants shall pay a two-cent production tax on every gallon of biofuel produced. Biofuel produced from hemp shall be exempt from this production tax.

Section 6: By July 1, 2018, 50% of the raw materials used by Pheasantland Industries shall consist of industrial hemp produced in South Dakota.


  1. interested party 2014.01.03

    Section 7. Only seeds from GMO-free organic banks will be allowed.

  2. interested party 2014.01.03

    Section 8. No pesticides, fungicides or herbicides other than those allowed under USDA organic requirements can be applied to this crop.

  3. jerry 2014.01.03

    Good additions Larry, the last thing we want is to enrich Monsanto.

  4. Douglas Wiken 2014.01.03

    Should add birth control to hemp. That would solve a few problems.

  5. interested party 2014.01.03

    Hope you're freezing your assets off, Doug.

  6. Drew Dennert 2014.01.03

    Yes yes absolutely yes! Legalize hemp now!!

  7. Jenny 2014.01.03

    That would never happen in SD. Meanwhile in Colorado, there's a 25% tax on marijuana. 300 pot shops have opened up for business and out of staters can buy up to 1/4 oz, and Coloradoans can buy an oz of the stuff. I look at the legalization of cannabis as evolving like gay marriage. More and more (progressive) states will legalize it.

  8. Deb Geelsdottir/ 2014.01.03

    Yes! Great law.

  9. Jenny 2014.01.03

    I know where I'm going on my next vacation :)

  10. Joan Brown 2014.01.03

    Jenny, you are so right about SD. We aren't even the tiniest bit progressive. In fact, I would swear we are going in the opposite direction.

  11. interested party 2014.01.03

    Amendment 1: the cultivation of cannabis for personal use may not exceed six (6) plants per 100 days unless growing for a party or parties suffering from the results of serving goddess and country while in harm's way.

  12. interested party 2014.01.03

    Amendment 2: Deadwood, those within its city limits and other entities in a gaming compact with the State of South Dakota may cultivate and distribute cannabis to those 21 years of age and older.

  13. interested party 2014.01.03

    Amendment 2, addendum: Cultivation of cannabis for personal use will pay a fee to the South Dakota Commission on Gaming then exact an excise taxes on sales. Those providing medical necessity will be exempt from said excise taxes.

  14. interested party 2014.01.03

    or something like that....

  15. Deb Geelsdottir/ 2014.01.03

    Yes, I know this is about hemp and not my favorite college drug, but . . .

    I like the idea of legalized marijuana and I support the same. I have a question for those who are opposed: I need to hear something quantifiable regarding the statement that weed is so much stronger now. (Or something similar.)

    I've heard that several times, but it's such a generic statement that it's meaningless. Stronger than when? How much stronger? What is the measurement device? Quantify, quantify, quantify. Give some teeth to this vague generalization. If there are specifics in support of this affirmation, I'd like to know.

  16. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.01.04

    Larry: do we need to include enforcement for the clauses you propose? What happens if someone violates them?

    Larry and Deb: do we kill this bill's chances if we add pot legalization to it? Should we address drug use and industrial use separately?

  17. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.01.04

    Advocate: good links! I'm all for adding a THC standard, if we keep the bill strictly industrial and don't also legalize drug use. The relevant definition from Kentucky law: "'Industrial hemp' means all parts and varieties of the plant cannabis sativa, cultivated or possessed by a licensed grower, whether growing or not, that contain a tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of no more than that adopted by federal law in the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. secs. 801 et seq."

  18. interested party 2014.01.04

    Cory: my guess is that there are far more South Dakotans wanting to legalized cannabis for personal use than for industrial purposes but you are probably right about two separate laws. Any community, county or state could direct their law enforcement industries to ignore personal cannabis ingestion and force the feds to enforce their silly law just as the state has washed his hands of uranium extraction.

  19. Lynn G. 2014.01.04

    I used to purchase non GMO and Organic Hemp Milk for it's health benefits for a while but it ended up being too expensive for my budget. There are all kinds of Hemp products out there.

  20. Tara Volesky 2014.01.04

    Hemp and pot are not the same. I can't believe there are no legislators willing too carry the Hemp bill. Guess I have to start making some phone calls. Any Independents or Libertarians out their? The R and D are scared.

  21. interested party 2014.01.04

    Ms. Volesky: you might start by learning to write the English language first.

  22. Vincent Gormley 2014.01.04

    Great additions Larry!

  23. interested party 2014.01.04

    Thanks, Vinny: just letting my freak flag fly.

  24. Deb Geelsdottir/ 2014.01.04

    Marijuana legalization can wait. Go with the hemp law. Non-corporate farms need it. And smaller family corporate farms too. The huge corporate-connected farms will probably keep churning out all the pesticide/herbicide/GMO laden corn and beans pharmaceutically possible.

  25. Lynn G. 2014.01.05

    Mike Meyers for Governor has a Hemp Video produced by RT Television which is pretty good.

    One of my passions is history and previously I knew historically and generally Hemp was like a wonder plant highly prized by society for it's many uses being super strong, light weight, durable and used for health purposes but that video amazed me just how versatile that plant can be, what role it played in history and what powers were behind it getting banned. If it can be grown without it turning into another GMO heavily chemical reliant crop it could be a very eco alternative.

  26. Cranky Old Dude 2014.01.05

    Hemp is very useful when dealing with politicans and one should keep plenty on hand with that use in mind. I am told that 5/8 hard twist, lightly oiled makes the best nooses...

  27. Lynn G. 2014.01.05

    Cranky good one! lol

  28. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.01.07

    No lynchings allowed, Cranky!

  29. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.01.07

    Here are the amendments I'll make:

    (1) Add the Kentucky definition of industrial hemp with the CSA THC standard.

    (2) Add Larry's organic growing provisions.

    Other suggestions for the final draft?

  30. grudznick 2014.01.07

    Spend some of that big pile of money I've read the state has to promote your hemp rope and such.

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