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Minn. hemp group protests driver arrest in South Dakota

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Democrat Joe Radinovich
Joe Radinovich sits for a portrait at MPR headquarters in St. Paul on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018.
Tony Saunders | MPR News file

The Minnesota Hemp Association is protesting the arrest of a hemp driver in South Dakota.

The group's executive director, former Minnesota legislator Joe Radinovich, accuses South Dakota of violating the 2018 Farm Bill by arresting the driver. The Argus Leader reports the driver was arrested in July while delivering 300 pounds of non-intoxicating hemp from Denver to a Minnesota processor.

Radinovich said the case highlights the need for consistent state laws on hemp cultivation, transportation, processing and selling.

The 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized industrial hemp, but South Dakota legislators failed to override Gov. Kristi Noem's veto of a bill legalizing hemp in the state this year.

The Department of Public Safety points out that hemp is still illegal in South Dakota and that includes transporting it across the state.