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New legislation introduced to legalize industrial hemp in Idaho

man speaking at podium

At the behest of the Idaho Farm Bureau, the House Agriculture Committee has voted unanimously to introduce new legislation to legalize industrial hemp in Idaho, for production, processing, transportation and research. The vote clears the way for a full hearing on the bill, which supporters said they hope will settle years of debate about how to allow for industrial hemp production by Idaho agricultural producers without running afoul of concerns about hemp’s psychoactive cousin, marijuana.


Medical marijuana for Idaho? Cancer patient’s bill would decriminalize prescription pot

medical prescription with medical bottle spilled over cannabis buds

Jeremy Kitzhaber, a retired senior master sergeant of the U.S. Air Force with Stage 4 terminal cancer, on Monday morning showed up to an Idaho Legislature committee meeting with a draft bill and a bag of pills.

He demonstrated to state legislators the medication he needed on a daily basis to keep him alive — hydrocodone, oxycodone, pills to help with the bowel obstruction caused by the opioids, and a cancer inhibitor drug, to name a few.

He presented to state legislators a bill he crafted to decriminalize medical marijuana.


Idaho Senate Passes Constitutional Ban On Legal Marijuana

medical bottle spilt over with cannabis buds over a prescription

The Idaho Senate approved a measure on Wednesday that would amend the state’s constitution to prevent the legalization of marijuana and other drugs not approved by the federal government. The proposed constitutional amendment was approved in the GOP-led Senate with a vote of 24 to 11, just one vote more than the two-thirds majority required to advance the measure.


Idaho remains arguably the most anti-cannabis state in the union

idaho state building

If you're looking for a case study in standing steadfast against an ever-growing wave of change, look no further than our neighbors to the east. Idaho, once again, is making clear that it is closed to cannabis.

On Jan. 29, the State Affairs Committee of the Idaho Senate approved by a 6-to-2 party-line vote a resolution that would amend the state's Constitution and essentially bring into place an outright ban on the legalization of cannabis and other controlled substances within the state. That vote moves the resolution to the floor of the state Senate for consideration, bringing it one step closer to becoming law.


Idaho Senate Tries to Block Marijuana Legalization Efforts with Constitutional Amendment

It's not easy being a marijuana activist in Idaho. The only state in the country with no favorable cannabis laws - recreational, medical, CBD or hemp - Idaho appears to be heading in the wrong direction. 

The Republican legislature there is pushing a state Constitutional ban on legalizing "certain psychoactive drugs," such as marijuana. This would prevent medical or recreational legalization from happening in Idaho.

First the legislature has to pass Senate Joint Resolution 101. Then Idaho citizens would get to vote on the measure in the 2022 election. 


Idaho: Tribe plans to move ahead with hemp cultivation

The Nez Perce Tribe is moving forward with plans to cultivate industrial hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill.

The tribe is seeking comments by Oct. 23 on its proposed amendment to the Nez Perce Tribal Code regarding the cultivation, processing and distribution of industrial hemp on the Nez Perce Reservation.

The hemp ordinance will provide a regulatory framework for safe and legal production of industrial hemp on the reservation. The ordinance’s approval must be completed in coordination with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The USDA must approve the tribe’s plan for the production of hemp, under a national regulatory framework for hemp production established in the 2018 Farm Bill.


Idahoans' support for medical marijuana has grown, but it might not be reflected in the Legislature

Ten years ago, when Bill Esbensen first began working with activists to push for some form of legal marijuana in Idaho, someone threatened to beat him up for it.

He was at a Willie Nelson concert in Boise, trying to collect signatures to get an initiative to legalize marijuana on the ballot. As he remembered it, the man who wanted to attack him for collecting signatures was probably older than 80.

“That was the attitude of people back then,” he said.


Marijuana Legalization Still Has a Chance in Idaho

Marijuana legalization in Idaho had to bear the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic. The lockdown forced the state to suspend its medical marijuana campaign. The group responsible for the campaign, the ICC (or the Idaho Cannabis Coalition), failed to collect the required signatures before the May 1 deadline. However, a recent federal court ruling for a separate initiative in the state might have sparked some hopes.


Idaho Suspends Marijuana Legalization amid Coronavirus

Marijuana legalization efforts seem to be struggling in the US amid the coronavirus outbreak. In 2020, many US states planned to put legalization proposals on the November ballot. However, many states have canceled public gatherings and large events amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Malls, stores, and other public places have shut down. As a result, marijuana activists struggle to gather signatures for their campaigns. Idaho has suspended its marijuana legalization campaign amid the coronavirus pandemic.


Startup pivots from roadside THC tests to focus on COVID-19

An Idaho company is planning to pivot away from roadside cannabis testing to COVID-19 diagnostics. 

KTVB is reporting that Facible, a Boise-based startup that has been developing testing equipment to trace the amounts of CBD and THC in plants, is now focusing on coronavirus with tests that could be completed within minutes. 

With tests in short supply, Steven Burden, CEO of Facible, said that the tests are “different from anything else on the market right now in terms of how fast it is and how accurate it is.”


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