South Dakota hemp backers hopeful about planting this year

State News

In this Aug. 21, 2019, photo, Jeff Dennings, left, and Dave Crabill, industrial hemp farmers, check plants at their farm in Clayton Township, Mich. The legalization of industrial hemp is spurring U.S. farmers into unfamiliar terrain, tempting them with profits amid turmoil in agriculture while proving to be a tricky endeavor in the early stages. Up for grabs is a lucrative market, one that could grow more than five-fold globally by 2025, driven by demand for cannabidiol. The compound does not cause a high like that of marijuana and is hyped as a health product to reduce anxiety, treat pain and promote sleep. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota hemp farmers are gearing up for the growing season while lawmakers tinker with a bill that would allow them to plant a crop this year.

A key change to the original bill would permit year-round applications to grow rather than a 60-day window. Another amendment lowers the entry barrier of five outdoor acres to half an acre, and allows for indoor commercial greenhouses.

South Dakota Industrial Hemp Association Vice President Derrick Dohmann says dropping the 60-day application limit would provide a boost to the state’s launch of the crop.

He says he has been working with hemp farmers in North Dakota, Minnesota and elsewhere to learn about the industry.

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