Idaho Legalized Industrial Hemp. Now What?

Idaho has become the last state to legalize industrial hemp, more than two years after the passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) legalized it as a commodity crop.

On April 16, Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed House Bill 126 into law, legalizing the production, processing, research and transportation of industrial hemp with up to 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the state, beginning with the spring 2022 growing season, the legislation states.


Idaho Senate Passes Bill (SB 1218) To Ban Marijuana Advertising

In a move that could limit the options of advocates promoting cannabis legalization initiatives, the Idaho Senate approved a bill on Wednesday that would ban advertising for marijuana in the state. The Senate passed the measure, SB 1218, with a vote of 21 to 14, sending the legislation to the state House of Representatives for consideration.

During debate on the bill, Sen. Scott Grow, the sponsor of the measure, said that billboards in western Idaho advertise cannabis businesses just over the border in Oregon, where recreational marijuana is legal for adults.


Idaho Hemp Bill Finally Signed Into Law, Legalizing The Crop Across All 50 States

And then, there were 50, with the newly codified Idaho hemp legalization.

On Friday, Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed House Bill 126, otherwise known as the “Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act.” Similar bills have passed in state legislatures across the country, ultimately earning the eager signature of their respective governors—a trend that was sparked by Congress’ passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. That bill legalized industrial hemp, paving the way for states to exploit what in recent years has emerged as a cash crop.


Oregon town on Idaho border experiencing fairly predictable marijuana sales boom

When Oregon legalized recreational marijuana in 2015, much of conservative Eastern Oregon did not join the green rush. Ontario, a town of about 11,000 people on the Idaho border, voted against allowing pot sales in 2016 — and then the smaller town of Huntington, 30 miles northwest of Ontario and 30 minutes farther from Boise, allowed dispensaries to open and was flooded with cash from Idaho weed tourists, Politico reports. "Huntington was soon receiving $100,000 in tax revenue from a single marijuana shop — half the 400-person city's annual budget." Ontario approved pot sales in 2018.


Idaho Republicans tried to block any future marijuana legalization. How’d it turn out?

An attempt by Idaho Republican leaders to make it impossible to legalize drugs in the state through a ballot initiative failed on Thursday, missing the supermajority support it needed in the House.

The proposed constitutional amendment would have required two-thirds of the House and Senate to approve the removal of a drug from Schedule I or Schedule II. Despite 26 co-sponsors who signed on to the amendment, House GOP leaders failed to garner the 47 votes needed to advance the measure to the Senate.


Finally, Hemp For Idaho?

The decades-long struggle to reintroduce industrial hemp cultivation to Idaho may soon be over.

Idaho is the only remaining U.S. state where hemp continues to be illegal, but perhaps not for long. While a 2019 effort to legalize hemp failed after heavy criticism by police and prosecutors, Idaho’s Senate last week voted 30-5 in favour of a subsequent bill. HB 126, the bill for the Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act, had already previously been passed in the House.

The Idaho Farm Bureau welcomed the Senate vote.


Idaho Senate votes to legalize industrial hemp

The Senate voted 30-5 in favor of the industrial hemp legalization bill. HB 126 has already passed the House. It will now go to the governor’s office.

The law would change Idaho Code to differentiate industrial hemp from marijuana. It would do so by amending “Idaho’s list of controlled substances to differentiate between hemp, which has no more than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and its more potent cousin. It would authorize the production, research, processing and transportation of industrial hemp by those licensed in Idaho, and allow the legal possession and transportation of the product in and through the state,” according to the Idaho Press.


‘It’s time’: Medical marijuana activists in Idaho fight uphill battle for 2022 initiative

In April 1990, Jackee Winters and her 2-year-old daughter, Autumn, were driving in their new black Mitsubishi truck when they got hit by a car.

Autumn died that day. Winters was in a coma for a few days and needed to relearn how to speak and walk. Doctors reconstructed her chest after the steering wheel damaged it and bruised her heart.

Winters, who now lives in Idaho City, was eventually diagnosed with depression, and the accident left her with disabilities, pain and nightmares that she has battled since then. She takes a variety of medications for her mental health and traumatic brain injury, according to medical documents.


Idaho's next initiative could be medical marijuana

Suzette Meyers is easy to label. Idaho native. Stroke survivor. Registered Republican.

But the Coeur d’Alene resident is also charging ahead with another label, one she repeats loudly and proudly: medical marijuana advocate.

“I look at people from my hometown in Salmon,” she said. “How many of them have had to suffer from debilitating conditions while people in the states around us have the freedom to choose what goes in their medicine cabinets?”


Idaho farmers are one step closer to growing hemp legally, as House passes bill

Years after the 2018 farm bill legalized hemp production at the federal level, Idaho legislators are close to lifting the state’s ban on growing the plant.

In a 44-26 vote Monday, House members approved a bill that would authorize the production, processing, transportation and research of hemp in the state. Idaho is currently the only state that hasn’t legalized industrial hemp.

House Bill 126 also would create a dedicated fund that would collect state revenues. The bill would initially cost the state $150,000 for a program manager and operations, according to the fiscal note.


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