Harrisburg Company in Hemp Industry Hoping for Statewide Legalization
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Industrial hemp is illegal in South Dakota. Lawmakers this year passed a bill that would have allowed farmers to grow hemp but Governor Noem vetoed it.
Despite that, one company still hopes to make a profit within the industry but not by growing hemp.
They are building hemp processing equipment.
“What we’re doing is not illegal. We can weld steel, we can bend metal, we can install motors,” says Hemp Processing Solutions Director of Marketing Reid Vander Veen.
He says the machines will be sent to a state where hemp processing is allowed but he hopes that will be the case soon in South Dakota.
“This year would have been a fantastic year for farmers in South Dakota to have access to industrial hemp,” Vander Veen says.
It’s no secret that agriculture is vital to the economy here, and with a short growing cycle, Vander Veen says hemp would be a moneymaker.
“It’s about farmers being able to plant seeds in the ground. It’s about being able to grow another crop, diversify the crops the farmers are growing,” he says.
He knows there’s a stigma around industrial hemp, but he thinks the opportunities out way possible drawbacks.
“It’s frustrating we do have some of the brightest and best farmers in the world, right here in South Dakota we got some of the smartest business owners, we got great entrepreneurs that are all chopping at the bit to have access to this new market,” says Vander Veen.
Industrial hemp is legal in 47 states and can be used to make around 25,000 products.
Is there a future in South Dakota? Uncertain.
Lawmakers are working on another bill to legalize industrial hemp in South Dakota. Governor Noem has said she would veto it if it comes to her desk.