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Noem Says Industrial Hemp Program Will Cost $10M–$12M

Governor Kristi Noem is trying to sound like a moderate, saying she’s open to legalizing industrial hemp if it’s done right. But don’t be fooled; listen to her full statement on KWAT Radio, and you’ll hear her heels are just as dug in as they were when she vetoed the 2019 bill:

Listen, if legislators want to fund the program the correct way and do it right, then let’s talk about it. But it’s going to take ten to twelve million dollars to set up a hemp program and make sure we have the law enforcement needs that we need, and that money is just not there. You’re gonna have to take it away from education. You’re gonna have to take it away from sick people. You’re going to have to take it away from law enforcement fighting the meth epidemic. You’re going to have to do something like that to fund a hemp program that I’m not sure the farmers overwhelmingly want. I haven’t had a single ag organization come to me and say, please, please, get us hemp. They’ll still make more money growing corn, wheat, soybeans than thye would on hemp, and there’s so much uncertainty that I just don’t know if they want to take the risk on that [Gov. Kristi Noem, transcribed from audio in Mike Tanner, “Hemp Debate Will Be Back Before South Dakota Legislators in 2020,” KWAT Radio, 2019.12.10].

Hmm… funny Governor Noem didn’t tell that Minneapolis advertising company that paying them to tell the world that South Dakota’s On Meth™ would take $1.4 million away from schools and sick people and cops fighting meth. I wonder what sick kids went without medicine to pay for the raises Noem has given her nepotized daughter and son-in-law.

Before Governor Noem squawks further about an alleged $10M–$12M price for running a hemp program, she might want to review the testimony the Legislature’s Industrial Hemp Study Committee heard in August about program costs:

The members of the study heard from Commissioner Doug Goehring, North Dakota Department of Agriculture, regarding North Dakota’s hemp program, including program implementation, and costs. The NDDA program is about 99.8% funded by the growers involved in the hemp program [Industrial Hemp Study Committee, draft report, submitted to Legislative Executive Board 2019.12.03, p. 21].

…plus the testimony the committee heard in October:

Major Aaron Hummel, North Dakota Highway Patrol (NDHP), gave testimony that the NDHP has not had any issues arise relating to hemp legalization. NDHP has not added additional resources or staff because of the introduction of hemp cultivation and production [Industrial Hemp Study Committee, 2019.12.03].

Hmmm… so North Dakota’s state hemp licensing and management is almost entirely self-funding, and North Dakota’s highway patrol isn’t spending any more post-hemp than pre-hemp, but Governor Noem says South Dakota will need up to $12 million to do the same thing. When the Legislature brings its hemp bill and funding to committee in January, it should be interesting to hear Noem’s lobbying team explain where the Governor gets her numbers.Math. We're On It™.


  1. bearcreekbat 2019-12-10 13:20

    My guess is that Noem used the same math that Daugaard used to refuse to expand Medicaid under the ACA.

  2. Porter Lansing 2019-12-10 13:28

    Cory for State Graphs, Charts, and Numbers Guy

  3. Porter Lansing 2019-12-10 13:54

    BTW … North Dakota shares a border with 36 million people who have legal marijuana, every day and every night. Think there’s some smuggling going on down into SD? Why not? The cops are looking the other way toward Colorado. heh HEH ho

  4. Hadassah Miller 2019-12-10 15:17

    Taking $ away from the sick? Because of her, I’m a criminal everytime I need to light up because my prescription for Fibromyalgia isn’t cutting it. Not to mention there aren’t enough doctors in Western South Dakota for us sick folks…I have to go to Gillette, Wyoming to see a Hematologist/Oncologist next month because Fibro isn’t my only issue. I don’t have insurance and I can’t afford the $5K that Mayo needs just to see me. But do go on about how expensive Hemp would be…maybe I should send her my medical bills.

  5. Debbo 2019-12-10 15:41

    It’s New GOP Math. The numbers are whatever they say the numbers are. Now shut up and nod your head.

  6. Donald Pay 2019-12-10 15:52

    Hemp requires some regulation, which means some FTEs, which means some money. Other states have set things up so that the hemp growers fund the cost of regulation. It’s best to start out with a small pilot project, just to iron out the problems. Wisconsin found this year it grew it too fast for the regulatory apparatus to keep up. It’s not as if South Dakota would be coming into this without a lot of the road already paved by other states.

  7. jimmy james 2019-12-10 17:03

    From the morons who brought you that ad, they are again going “all in” on blocking legalized industrial hemp. By the way, I was in Florida a couple weeks ago when the local stations were mocking us for that ad. Thanks Kristi.

    Anyway, when roughly half of South Dakotans support legalizing marijuana in general, this is what they spend their time on. Hemp? Morons, I tell ya.

  8. jimmy james 2019-12-10 17:11

    These kinds of mistakes make her vulnerable again in 2022. And she lost Minnehaha, Brown, Hughes, and Brookings Counties last time. Among others. What is wrong with her?

    Voters really don’t like their governor making their state into a laughing stock. But she just can’t help herself. She just can’t.

  9. Robin Friday 2019-12-10 18:14

    Noem included no raise for teachers, but another raise for her daughter on staff. Not yet a college graduate, the daughter now makes $58,000 a year, if I caught it right from KELO.

  10. jerry 2019-12-10 18:14

    Crystal GNOem is just doing the military industrial complex’s dirty business. By not having any kind of future here in South Dakota, young folks enlist in the military and get their arse’s shot off more so than any wealthy areas of the country.

    Read about us 4.7 million veterans in rural areas. You know, we’re the ones whose food stamps are being taken from. We represent the poor rural areas where there are few opportunities because of bought out politicians.

  11. Randy 2019-12-10 21:43

    Governor Noem is so screwed up in her thinking. Oklahoma’s MMJ market reaches over 258 million dollars during its first 10 months. Just sayin!

  12. Mark 2019-12-10 22:30

    Let’s not forget that when the Queen
    represented us in Washington , she
    signed the Farm Bill.
    What in the world did she think was going to happen?
    What a dope.

  13. LS1 2019-12-11 10:13

    Reclassify ingestion of a controlled substance as a misdemeanor and the state will have about $51 million to play with over the next ten years (according to the cost estimate on SB 95 (2018)). There, problem solved.

  14. Porter Lansing 2019-12-11 10:53

    LS1’s idea is sound and valid. Only roadblock is that the leader of the SD Republican Party owns bail bond companies in college towns. Reclassifying as a misdemeanor, as it is in every other state, would literally take a million dollars out of his pocket. Dan Lederman and his employee Pat Powers will do anything, including making people lose their houses, to stop that equality from happening. It’s shady and only semi-legal but in SD the boys in power can make their own laws.

  15. Debbo 2019-12-11 14:13

    Porter, your condemnation of Lederman and the SDGOP’s eager acquiescence is well founded.

    The GOP on all levels has willingly forfeited any claims to morality or ethics. Most of the ex-GOPers have stated they deeply feel the party will never recover. The sentiment is that eventually a conservative political party will arise, but the Republican Party of the USA has effectively, if slowly, killed itself, beginning with the Newt in the 1990s.

    I hope that’s true. The USA needs a conservative party for balance so it will be a good thing when one evolves.

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