Only 3 U.S. States have no medical marijuana

For all cannabis legalization’s progress, and all the excitement drug-policy reform and a booming CBD and cannabis market make, much of the United States remains outwardly hostile to marijuana — in some cases, outwardly so.

Against this backdrop, a few states stand out for soldiering on with the drug war.


New version of medical marijuana initiative clears first hurdle

Backers of a medical marijuana initiative have submitted the required 20 valid signatures to the Idaho Secretary of State’s office. The initiative has been referred to the Idaho Attorney General’s office for review, the Secretary of State’s office confirmed recently. An initial filing was three valid signatures short.


Shifting public opinion gives Idaho cannabis activists hope for 2020 medical marijuana initiative

There are two reasons why Russ Belville thinks Idaho has a shot at legalizing medical marijuana in 2020: Utah and Oklahoma.

In 2018, both conservative strongholds approved medical marijuana laws.

"We are very confident that if it makes it on the ballot, it passes," says Belville, spokesman for the Idaho Cannabis Coalition. "The difficulty is in getting it on the ballot. Idaho has some of the most arduous signature requirements. But once we get it on the ballot, we're confident it will pass."

The coalition filed a petition with the Idaho Secretary of State's Office to include a medical marijuana initiative on the 2020 ballot and expects to start collecting signatures before the end of the week, Belville says.


Idaho to be one of the only states where hemp is banned

Efforts to legalize hemp in Idaho are dead for the year, although a bill that would give some protection to out-of-state truckers could yet become law.

Hemp, a cousin of marijuana with trace amounts of THC that has numerous industrial uses, was legalized nationally by the 2018 Farm Bill. Hemp is legal in every neighboring state, and with the failure of the legalization legislation Idaho will be one of the only states where hemp is banned.


Legislation may allow interstate transport of hemp in Idaho

Legislation that will allow the interstate transport of hemp and a hemp-derived extract called CBD through Idaho — where it's illegal — has been introduced.

The House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday introduced the bill that would allow the director of the Idaho State Police to issue permits for the interstate transport of hemp and CBD.

The Senate on Monday approved legislation involving hemp that caused some House members to withdraw their support because of the amendments done in the Senate.

Republican Rep. Judy Boyle says the House legislation legalized hemp, but the amendments by the Senate undid that.


Idaho State Police may get tests to tell hemp and pot apart

Idaho State Police may get the funding to purchase equipment that would allow investigators to distinguish hemp from marijuana after a high-profile case in the state grabbed headlines and prompted a federal lawsuit.

The state legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Friday approved about $240,000 for three testing devices for crime labs in the cities of Meridian, Pocatello and Coeur d’Alene, the Idaho Statesman reported. The funding must be approved by the House and Senate.

“This is in response to what we can see coming,” said state Sen. Abby Lee, a Republican. “They need these tools, and they need them this year. If they have an arrest, they can’t wait to send those results out to Kentucky.”


Idaho cannabis advocates aim for 2020 ballot initiative

As the page turns to 2019, Monday marks just one week until the start of the 2019 legislative session.

Already on New Year’s Day, Idahoans have staged the first political rally of the year.

Every New Year’s Day, cannabis advocacy groups Legalize Idaho and Idaho Moms for Marijuana kick off the year with a protest focused on legalizing marijuana.

Serra Frank drove from Oregon to be a part of the protest. She says she lives in exile dealing with a medical condition because her home state of Idaho hasn't legalized marijuana.

"I drove an hour and a half to be here to protest because I want to come home," Frank said.


Idaho state senate kills medical CBD bill in allegedly illegal meeting

The state House approved the medicinal cannabis bill, but the Senate killed it during a closed-door meeting that reportedly violates Idaho’s Open Meeting Law.

A bill that would have allowed limited use of medical cannabis oils in Idaho is now off the table after state Senators blocked its passage during an allegedly illegal closed-door meeting.


Idaho is getting closer to legalizing medical cannabis

Idaho is one of the most staunchly anti-cannabis states in the country. Cannabis advocates have not been able to make much headway inside the generally very conservative state.

With lawmakers now considering a new medical marijuana bill, things could be changing. But even if Idaho is getting closer to legalizing medical cannabis, will very much change on the ground for actual cannabis consumers?

Idaho’s Latest Medical Marijuana Bill


Idaho bill would allow use of cannabis-derived CBD oil

A recently introduced bill would allow residents to use oil extracted from cannabis plants as long as the product is prescribed by a licensed practitioner.

Under the proposed legislation, Idahoans seeking to use the oil for medical purposes for themselves or their minor children would have to apply to the Idaho Board of Pharmacy for a cannabidiol registration card.

Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD oil, comes from cannabis but contains little or no THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis.

"There's a lot of medicinal qualities to CBD oil," The bill's sponsor, Rep. Dorothy Moon (R-Stanley) told "From epileptic seizures to fibromyalgia to chemotherapy, you know, nausea and pain from other issues. It is amazing."


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