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South Dakota House panel passes industrial hemp bill

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A House committee has approved a bill that would allow the cultivation of industrial hemp in South Dakota.

The House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee voted 9-2 to approve the plan Thursday.

Supporter Rep. Elizabeth May, a Republican, says hemp would be a useful product for South Dakota's agriculture industry.

The bill would allow people to apply to the state Department of Agriculture for a license to grow industrial hemp if they pass background checks.

The 2014 Farm Bill allowed states to develop hemp pilot projects. North Dakota has an industrial hemp program.

Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard said last year that he's against industrial hemp, and said he doubts its cultivation would amount to much economic activity.

An industrial hemp proposal failed last session after it passed through the House.

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