Idaho Legislators Introduce Hemp Bills
by Dennis Hansen
Hemp has been a hotly debated topic in Idaho. Even though the federal government has legalized hemp, hemp cultivation and production are still regulated by the state. After a failed attempt last year to pass a law allowing for the farming and production of hemp, many Idahoans are wondering why the state is being left behind.
Idaho Senator Mary Souza and Representative Dorothy Moon have introduced bills this session that would help clarify the existing use of CBD- and hemp-sourced products, in addition to adding a statute to allow Idaho farmers to grow hemp.
SB 1241 would remove hemp from the definition of marijuana and exempt it from the list of Schedule I controlled substances. While CBD oil and hemp products are sold at stores across the state, due to the convoluted wording of the current statute, privately own businesses selling products derived from hemp have been threatened by law enforcement, even though these products did not contain THC, the mind-altering component of the plant. (See article on benefits of CBD oil)
The second bill, SB 1253, would make it legal to “plant, grow, cultivate, harvest, sample, test, research, process, transport, transfer, take possession of, sell, import and export hemp in this state.” SB 1253 makes all of these activities legal by, among other things, differentiating hemp from the definition of marijuana. This wording comes directly from the federal Farm Bill and would provide immense opportunities to the agricultural sector of our state.
Both of these bills deserve the support of the public. At press, both bills were referred to the Senate State Affairs committee and have not been heard for a vote. Concerned citizens can contact their senator and representatives and ask them to vote YES on these bills.
For more information or to add your voice to the pro-hemp movement, visit Facebook @HempFreedomIdaho.