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Minnesota Hemp Association Calls for Consistent Hemp Laws in Light of Arrest of Hemp Driver in South Dakota

Driver arrested in South Dakota transporting legally grown hemp to Minnesota faces up to 20 years in prison

Minneapolis, MN (August 19, 2019) – The Minnesota Hemp Association, a 501(c)(4) trade organization representing farmers, processors, manufacturers, retailers, distributors, and service providers in or entering Minnesota’s booming hemp industry, today commented on a pending legal matter involving a hemp delivery person’s arrest in South Dakota. The driver was transporting legally grown hemp from Colorado to a Minnesota processor.

“What this situation highlights is the serious deficiency of consistent laws around hemp cultivation, transportation, processing, and selling,” said Joe Radinovich, Executive Director of the Minnesota Hemp Association. “A Minnesota Hemp Association member expected a shipment of legally grown hemp. Instead, their driver was arrested and their hemp was confiscated in a state that isn’t complying with the Farm Bill and allowing hemp to be transported.”


The 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act, also known as the Farm Bill, was signed into law by the president in December 2018. Within it, hemp (cannabis containing < 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)) was formally legalized and provisions were outlined for its cultivation, transport, and sale.

Following the Farm Act’s signing, a 2019 memo from the United States Department of Agriculture noted that although states can enact and enforce hemp production laws, they cannot block a shipment through a state or Tribal territory. The Minnesota Hemp Association would like to see federal regulations further clarifying:

  • How law enforcement engages with persons pulled over with hemp in their possession

  • How hemp is certified and labeled for clarity when dealing with law enforcement


Forty-seven states permit the cultivation of hemp – South Dakota is not among them. Earlier this year, the South Dakota Governor vetoed a bill from the legislature seeking to legalize industrial hemp production in the state. Recently, a constitutional amendment was proposed in South Dakota that would legalize all aspects of cannabis including recreational, medical, and hemp. If enough signatures are obtained, it will appear on South Dakotans’ 2020 ballots.


“The Minnesota Hemp Association is an advocate for those working in the legal hemp industry,” said Radinovich. “We expect to see the charges against the driver dropped, hemp legalized in South Dakota, and more legal clarity at a federal level to ensure good people making an honest living in the hemp industry are able to do so without fear of legal action taken against them without cause.”


More information about the MN Hemp Association can be found on its website:

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