South Dakota Legislation Aims to Increase THC Levels for Hemp Processing

South Dakota Legislation Aims to Increase THC Levels for Hemp Processing

The South Dakota Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee recently voted 4-3 to pass a bill that would raise the threshold for hemp THC levels from 1% to 5%. This change could make a big difference for South Dakota’s hemp industry, as it would allow processors to extract more THC in order to find additional uses for the crop, according to a report by Ganjapreneur.

Rep. Oren Lesmeister (D), who wrote the bill, explained that this increase from 1% to 5% THC content would let another processor extract more of the cannabinoid after the first process is completed. Hemp often contains between 1-5% THC, and those levels may rise further during processing.

Katie Sieverding of the SD Industrial Hemp Association spoke before the panel and suggested that states not willing to tacitly accept a 5% THC limit while processing were ignoring relevant facts and circumstances; raising this limit could open up more possibilities for licensed hemp processors in South Dakota.

If passed by the full Senate, any hemp moved between processing places must be kept within containers that are clearly labeled “not for human consumption”. On Feb 24, the full Senate postponed taking up this bill; however, no House committee has yet discussed it. 

To become operational in South Dakota, hemp processors need to hold a state-issued license.

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