- Associated Press - Thursday, February 4, 2016

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The state House of Representatives has approved a bill that would open the door to the cultivation of industrial hemp in South Dakota.

House lawmakers voted 57-11 on Thursday to approve the plan. It now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Republican Rep. Mike Verchio of Hill City is the bill’s main House sponsor. He says hemp could be a significant economic development opportunity and provide jobs in South Dakota.

The South Dakota bill restricts the content of THC for industrial hemp. It would allow people to apply to the state Department of Agriculture for a license to grow the plant.

Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard has said he’s against allowing industrial hemp in the state. Daugaard has said he doubts its cultivation would amount to much economic activity.

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