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Big Pharma Keeps Cannabidiol Bill Moving in Pierre; State Opposition Kills Industrial Hemp

Two cannabis-related bills came up for debate in committee in Pierre Thursday. One bill passed, the other failed.

Senate Bill 95 would allow the use of cannibidiol, a marijuana extract that doesn’t get anyone high, for medical purposes. Two lobbyists for GW Pharmaceuticals (known in America as Greenwich Biosciences) testified for the bill Thursday; no one from the Attorney General’s office or other law enforcement agencies testified against it. House Health and Human Services passed SB 95 7–3.

House Bill 1204 would legalize the production and sale of industrial hemp, a botanical cousin of marijuana that doesn’t get anyone high. Proponents testifying Thursday included Representative Dan Kaiser, who is a police officer. Against the bill the state mobilized the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Agriculture. Also testifying in opposition were sometime A.G.’s special prosecutor Paul Bachand on behalf of the state’s attorneys’ association and Lori Martinec of the state Police Chiefs’ Association. Senate State Affairs voted against passage 4–5, then tabled HB 1204 7–2.

One bill offers one company, whose products have been endorsed in an official letter to the FDA and DEA by the Attorney General, an opportunity at monopoly profit, and the Legislature moves it along without objection from the state. Another bill offers South Dakota farmers an opportunity to boost their income and diversify their crops, but in the absence of big industry support, the state says no.

Welcome to the plutocracy.


  1. grudznick 2017-03-05 12:25

    Hemp is just baby weed. And weed is bad, it is bad. We have seen how stupid somebody people are with the IM#22 so those same people would probably smoke vast amounts of hemp to get high and the next commit crimes and cost us money. Weed is bad.

  2. buckobear 2017-03-05 13:44

    I guess all the hawsers we grew for the navy during WWII directly led to our loss, eh ?

  3. Tim 2017-03-05 16:19

    Go have a drink grudz, make you feel better.

  4. mike from iowa 2017-03-05 17:18

    If those hawsers affected the ships like a joint did the smoker, them ships were too mellow and laid back to fight anyone.

  5. dave 2017-03-06 08:06

    its pretty simple really, the acres converted to hemp will not be available to grow corn or beans. therefore no checkoff dollars…

  6. barry freed 2017-03-06 09:08

    Pound for pound, nothing makes more natural gas than hemp*.
    * except Grudz, when Tally’s is serving breakfast burritos.

    Hemp was made for South Dakota soil and climate. Unlike Cotton, it needs only Sun, a little water, and no fertilizer. Growing Cotton uses large amounts of Oil products, tobacco, and water. The Government still hasn’t eradicated the Hemp that was planted East River for the War Effort in WWII, but they try.

    I suppose the opponent testimony was how it looks like the Killer Weed, so we can’t risk people hiding Killer Weed in with Hemp. A good Pot plant looks nothing like a good Hemp plant. Hemp is ideally grown tall as possible and spindly to make long strands with big stalks, and few leaves. Leaves are counterproductive for Hemp’s uses.
    So we, as a State, are ignoring a HUGE (bigger than a Trump “huge”, as it is true) source of alternative energy, i.e. money for Schools or whatever creating NEW jobs in SD, that aids in Global Warming and doesn’t pollute.
    We missed the boat with recreational Pot and the money from pot tourism. Now some other State, probably Colorado again, will embrace Hemp and we will miss out on the ground floor profits and head start in the industry. Oh well, we still have the market on toxic filled boreholes cornered.

  7. Adam 2017-03-06 13:12

    Me don’t think there is room for any more agriculture jobs in South Dakota, and me thinks we grow enough stuff in our dirts already.

    Me vote Republican.

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