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Lesmeister Cheers USDA Approval of SD Hemp Plan; Forum for Farmers in Chamberlain Saturday

South Dakotans are voting on whether to legalize medical and recreational marijuana (Initiated Measure 26 and Amendment A), but 2020 House Bill 1008, passed last March, already allows South Dakota farmers to grow industrial hemp. Foot-dragging by Governor Kristi Noem (too busy, of course, planning fireworks for Donald and campaign trips for herself) and slow work from the Trump swamp kept farmers from planting hemp this year, but the USDA last week finally approved South Dakota’s plan for regulating hemp.

Representative and agriculturalist Oren Lesmeister (D-28A/Parade), who pushed hard for the governor to get over her paranoia and give farmers the freedom to make their own economic choices, is happy as a grasshopper in August:

“This is exciting news for South Dakota,” Lesmeister, a Dupree Democrat, said after the Friday announcement. “This is what I have been waiting and battling for, is to see producers and processors of industrial hemp in South Dakota.”

…“Finally getting closer to the finish line, the ride has been long, but very rewarding. I have met people and seen places that I would have never gone to if it wasn’t for hemp,” the rancher said. “I am so exited to attend my second hemp production and informational meeting in Chamberlain next weekend that all I can do is smile” [Bob Mercer, “As S.D. Agencies Get Rules Ready, Lawmaker Praises Approval of Industrial Hemp Plan,” KELO-TV, 2020.10.17].

South Dakota Hemp Forum, Chamberlain, October 24, 2020; screen cap from EventBrite, 2020.10.19.
South Dakota Hemp Forum, Chamberlain, October 24, 2020; screen cap from EventBrite, 2020.10.19.

The Chamberlain meeting to which Rep. Lesmeister refers is the “Morning for Hemp in the Missouri River Valley” meeting at the AmericInn this Saturday, October 24, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tickets are free, as, apparently, is lunch from Chubby’s. Rep. Lesmeister will be speaking along with some other legislators, Doane University experts, and producers from Nebraska and Colorado. Organizers held a similar hemp forum in Fort Pierre on August 29.

If you attend, wear a mask… which one can make from hemp.


  1. Nix 2020-10-19

    47 States have enacted legislation to establish Hemp production.
    Estimates are 1.65 Billion in revenue
    from Hemp by 2021.
    That is an approximate 500% growth in 4 years.
    Once again because of ignorance, paranoia and assumptions, the Dope Queen of Delusion has made sure that South Dakota begins this chapter
    of South Dakota Agriculture in the back of the pack, the bottom of the heap.
    Yep, The DOPE is still in Pierre.

  2. Donald Pay 2020-10-19

    See the problem I have is not with hemp production. I’m in favor of it. My problem is that inevitably you create another a-hole lobby of corporate entitlement that will end up with more corporate ag, and more land that should be left in grass tore up. It’s staring at you at the bottom of the advertising poster for the Chamberlain Hemp Farmers Forum.

    The same stuff will happen with recreational pot as with “medicinal” pot. It would make it hard for me to vote for these initiatives. Money you use to buy your pot stash will end up in Republican hands.

  3. Nix 2020-10-19

    I have rarely if ever disagreed with any of your posts.
    This one however…..
    When you are finished with your crystal ball, send me the lottery numbers for the next weeks drawing.
    Please vote YES on A and 26.

  4. Donald Pay 2020-10-19


    It’s nothing against hemp as a plant. The chemicals it produces serve a purpose in its evolutionary and ecological existence, probably initially as a means of chemical defense. You could say now THC is the way cannabis gets humans to propagate it. We are as much domesticated as the plants and animals we keep. Dogs have us feeding them and picking up their poop. Cannabis is a finicky plant to actually grow for oil or a high, so if a farmer wants to grow a small plot for whatever purpose, I’m fine with that. I’d vote for that.

    Through my life I have voted against vices, whether it’s booze, gambling or weed, but I’m not for prohibition. I just don’t like the organized lobby for vice. I saw too much of it in Pierre and I know pot is going down that same road.

  5. Debbo 2020-10-20

    Evidently many farmers don’t have a problem selling their loyalties and values. 75% back Economic Oaf.

    “Trump’s payments to farmers hit all-time high ahead of election,” per Reuters, “with record government subsidies projected to make up more than a third of farm income in 2020.”

    Axios AM, by Mike Allen

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