Demystifying Hemp Laws: An Updated Guide to Regulations in North and South Dakota
Hemp has experienced a significant resurgence in recent years, and as its popularity grows, so does the need to understand the laws and regulations surrounding its production, sale, and consumption. In the context of the United States, each state has the authority to set its own hemp regulations, which can lead to significant variations in regulations from state to state. In this guide, we will focus on current regulations in North and South Dakota, providing a clear understanding of hemp-related laws in both states.
North Dakota: A Progressive Approach to Hemp
North Dakota has demonstrated a progressive approach toward hemp regulation. The state has established a hemp research program that allows farmers to grow hemp for research purposes. This has provided an opportunity to explore the agricultural and economic benefits of hemp cultivation in North Dakota.
Under North Dakota regulations, farmers must obtain a license to grow hemp and follow certain requirements. These requirements include the submission of a licence application, payment of corresponding fees, submission of production plan information and laboratory tests to verify the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content of cultivated hemp. The state sets THC limits that must be met to consider cultivation as hemp and not marijuana.
North Dakota has been recognized as a leader in promoting hemp research and development. Through its hemp research program, the state has given farmers the opportunity to explore the agricultural and economic benefits offered by this versatile crop.
To participate in the program, North Dakota farmers must obtain a license to grow hemp. However, the licensing process is not simply a bureaucratic procedure; It involves complying with certain requirements established by state authorities. These requirements are designed to ensure the quality and safety of hemp products grown in the state.
To obtain the license, farmers must submit a detailed application that includes information about their experience and knowledge in hemp cultivation. In addition, the payment of appropriate fees is required to cover the costs associated with administering the program.
One of the most important aspects of North Dakota regulations is the control of THC content in cultivated hemp. THC is the psychoactive compound present in the cannabis plant, and its presence at high levels is what distinguishes marijuana from hemp. To consider cultivation as hemp and not marijuana, the state sets THC limits that must be met.
These THC limits vary depending on the growth stage of the plant. During the flowering phase, the THC content should not exceed 0.3% on a dry basis. This restriction is critical to ensuring that hemp grown in North Dakota is legal and meets federally mandated requirements.
In addition to licensing requirements and THC limits, farmers are also subject to regular laboratory testing to verify the THC content in their crops. These tests ensure the transparency and quality of hemp products, and also help maintain the integrity of the research program.
Once hemp is grown and harvested, the sale of hemp-derived products, such as oils, creams, foods, and supplements, is allowed as long as they meet the requirements set forth by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and state legislation.
South Dakota: A Path to Hemp Legalization
Unlike North Dakota, South Dakota has taken a more cautious approach to hemp. To date, the state has followed a restrictive stance regarding hemp cultivation and processing. However, there have been significant developments in recent years that have paved the way toward hemp legalization in South Dakota.
In 2020, South Dakota voters approved a constitutional amendment legalizing the cultivation, processing and sale of hemp within the state. Following this amendment, the state has been working on developing a hemp cultivation program and drawing up regulations for its implementation. Importantly, until these regulations are finalized and passed, the cultivation and processing of hemp in South Dakota remains illegal.
South Dakota's constitutional amendment also states that hemp must have a THC content of less than 0.3% on a dry basis to be considered legal. In addition, the law allows the sale and distribution of hemp-derived products.
Unlike its northern neighbor, South Dakota has maintained a more cautious stance on hemp. For a long time, the state has followed a restrictive policy regarding the cultivation and processing of this plant. Nonetheless, there have been significant developments in recent years that have paved the way toward hemp legalization in South Dakota.
In a major milestone, in 2020, South Dakota voters approved a constitutional amendment legalizing the cultivation, processing, and sale of hemp within the state. This result demonstrates a shift in mindset towards hemp and recognises its potential in terms of agricultural and economic opportunities. Following this amendment, the state has been hard at work developing a hemp cultivation program and drawing up the necessary regulations for its implementation.
It is important to note that, until these regulations are finalized and approved, the cultivation and processing of hemp in South Dakota remains illegal. However, the passage of the constitutional amendment represents a significant step towards legalization and lays the groundwork for the implementation of a robust regulatory framework.
According to South Dakota's constitutional amendment, hemp must have a THC content of less than 0.3% on a dry basis to be considered legal. This THC limit is in line with the federal definition of hemp and is a key criterion to distinguish it from marijuana. The imposition of this threshold ensures that hemp grown in the state has no significant psychoactive properties and complies with national regulations.
In addition, the law will allow the sale and distribution of hemp-derived products in South Dakota, as long as they comply with established regulations. This opens the door to a wide range of business opportunities, such as the production of CBD oils, food, personal care products, and hemp-derived textiles.
Understand state and federal regulations
It is essential to note that although individual states have the authority to set their own regulations on hemp, these must be in line with federal regulations. At the federal level, hemp is defined as any cannabis plant with a THC content of less than 0.3% on a dry basis. This distinction is crucial, as hemp with a THC content above this limit is considered marijuana and is subject to different regulations.
In addition, the 2018 Farm Bill, a federal piece of legislation, legalized the cultivation, processing, and sale of hemp nationwide, providing a solid legal foundation for the growth of the hemp industry. However, there are specific restrictions and regulations that states must follow to comply with federal legislation.
Understanding the laws and regulations related to hemp in North and South Dakota is critical for those wishing to engage in the production, sale, or consumption of hemp products. North Dakota has taken a progressive approach to hemp, allowing research and regulating the cultivation and sale of hemp-derived products. On the other hand, South Dakota has taken steps toward hemp legalization, but is still in the process of developing and finalizing its cultivation program.
It is important to note that state regulations must comply with the federal regulations set forth in the 2018 Farm Bill. Hemp with a THC content below 0.3% is considered legal, while hemp with a THC content above this limit is classified as marijuana and is subject to different regulations.
It is always advisable to check the updated laws and regulations of each state and the corresponding regulatory agencies before engaging in any hemp-related activity.
- "South Dakota Voters Approve Measure to Legalize Hemp" - News from Hemp Grower magazine reporting on the passage of the constitutional amendment in South Dakota: https://www.hempgrower.com/article/south-dakota-voters-approve-measure-legalize-hemp/
- "North Dakota's Industrial Hemp Pilot Program" – Official website of the North Dakota Department of Agriculture providing information on the hemp research program in the state: https://www.nd.gov/ndda/plants-industrial-hemp
- "Hemp Farming Programs" - Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website that provides an overview of federal regulations related to hemp and the implementation of state programs: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/hemp-farming-programs
- "Hemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill " – Information from the U.S. Congressional Research Service explaining how the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp at the federal level and set requirements for its cultivation and processing: https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R45942
- "Understanding the 0.3% THC Limit in Hemp" – Hemp Industry Daily magazine article discussing the 3% THC limit in hemp and its importance in the context of state and federal regulations: https://hempindustrydaily.com/understanding-the-0-3-thc-limit-and-why-it-matters-in-hemp/