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South Dakota Cracks Down on 'Fake Weed': New Law Bans Unregulated Hemp Products Statewide

A new law banning the sale of unregulated hemp products took effect in South Dakota on July 1, marking a significant shift in the state’s cannabis policy. This comes three months after Governor Kristi Noem (R) signed House Bill 1125 into law, targeting the chemical modification or conversion of industrial hemp.

House Bill 1125, introduced by Rep. Brian Mulder (R), specifically prohibits the sale and distribution of products containing Delta-8, Delta-10, THC-O, HHC, and THC-P. These substances, which can be synthesized and added to hemp products, mimic the psychoactive effects of Delta-9 THC found in marijuana. Under the new law, the sale of these products is classified as a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Hemp Quarters 605, a shop selling such products, filed a lawsuit in June challenging the constitutionality of the new law. The lawsuit argues that by regulating the sale of federally legal products across state lines, South Dakota is violating the U.S. Constitution's commerce clause. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, signed by Donald Trump, legalized hemp and hemp-derived products on a federal level, provided they contain only 0.3% Delta-9 THC.

However, the Farm Bill left many regulatory gaps, leading to the proliferation of various intoxicating hemp products nationwide.

Despite the legal challenge, a judge recently refused to block the implementation of the new law, allowing it to take effect as scheduled.

Interestingly, South Dakota has emerged as one of the top hemp producers in the nation over the past few years. Ken Meyer, president of the South Dakota Industrial Hemp Association (SDIHA) board, attributes this success to the crop's resilience and compatibility with local agricultural conditions. "Well-developed hemp genetics from Canada and Europe work well in our latitude," Meyer told South Dakota News Watch.

The ban on unregulated hemp products aligns with the broader sentiment in South Dakota, where a recent poll indicated that the majority of residents oppose the legalization of recreational cannabis. This reflects a cautious approach towards cannabis-related products, prioritizing regulation and control.

The implications of this new law and its impact on the hemp and cannabis industry will be among the many topics discussed at the upcoming 19th Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Chicago on October 8-9. As South Dakota navigates its position in the evolving cannabis landscape, the conference promises to offer insights and discussions on regulatory, legal, and market trends.

South Dakota's new law banning unregulated hemp products marks a significant development in the state's approach to cannabis regulation. While the law faces legal challenges, its implementation highlights the ongoing debate over cannabis legalization and the importance of stringent regulatory measures to ensure public safety.

Do you support South Dakota's decision to ban unregulated hemp products like Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC

  • Yes, it ensures safety and proper regulation.

  • No, it restricts access to legal hemp products.

  • Not sure, need to see the long-term effects.


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