South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has vetoed legislation to start the process of allowing industrial hemp growth there, saying the state is “not yet ready” for the crop. Noem, who voted for the farm bill and its hemp language as a member of Congress, had previously spoken against the bill as it worked its way through the state’s legislature before officially issuing the veto on Monday. In a letter to legislators, she cited law enforcement challenges, saying there is “no question in my mind that normalizing hemp, like legalizing medical marijuana, is part of a larger strategy to undermine enforcement of the drug laws and make legalized marijuana inevitable.” Noem, a Republican, said South Dakota should wait until USDA issues federal regulations allowing for the cultivation of the crop before acting on its own. Under the farm bill, the decision of hemp growth was left up to the states, who are to submit a regulatory framework to USDA for approval. On Tuesday, the state's legislature began the process of trying to override the bill's veto; the House voted 56-11 to override Noem's veto, the Senate fell short - 20-13, four short of the necessary 24-vote two-thirds margin — of an override vote.
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