The Idaho hemp market made strides as a legalization bill was passed by a 27-5 vote in the Idaho Senate.
According to Cynthia Sewell with Idaho Statesman:
“Hemp production in Idaho is one step closer to becoming legal. Cannabidiol oil, or CBD, is not.
“The Idaho Senate… voted 27-5 to legalize industrial hemp.
“Senate Bill 1345, sponsored by Sen. Abby Lee, R-Fruitland, and Rep. Caroline Nilsson Troy, R-Genesee, would allow Idaho farmers to grow and sell hemp products containing 0.3% or less of THC, the cannabis compound that gives marijuana users a high.
“Under the measure, the Idaho State Department of Agriculture would set up a state program for hemp that would include stipulations for permitting, testing and transportation. Although the bill would differentiate hemp from marijuana in Idaho’s state code for the first time, it would not remove hemp from the state’s list of controlled substances.
“The bill does not legalize CBD oil.
“’This is strictly an agriculture bill,’ Lee told the Senate, explaining it only allows for the production and processing of industrial hemp as allowed under the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“Idaho, South Dakota and Mississippi are the only three states where growing hemp is illegal despite the federal government making it legal in the 2018 farm bill. This week, the South Dakota Senate will consider a bill legalizing it.
“Lee emphasized that if Idaho does not come up with its own plan to grow hemp, by default it will have to operate under the federal plan.
“No one debated against Lee’s bill. It now goes to the House for consideration.
“During a Feb. 20 Senate Agriculture Committee bill hearing, Idaho farmers and farm organizations testified they’re losing money because the state has not legalized hemp production.
“Following the committee hearing, only one member, Sen. Regina Bayer, R-Meridian, voted in opposition.
“Idaho Gov. Brad Little recently told reporters he supports legalizing hemp production. ‘I’m fine with hemp so long as it’s not camouflage for marijuana,’ Little said.”