Hemp Legalization Bill Filed in Idaho, Committee Votes to Approve Hearing

Legalization to legalize hemp was filed this week in the Idaho Legislature by sponsor State Representative Dorothy Moon (R). The Senate Health and Welfare Committee quickly voted to clear the way for a public hearing.

According to the Associated Press, the legislation aims to align state law with federal law contained in the 2018 Farm Bill, changing Idaho law to allow the growing and selling of hemp products containing 0.3% or less of THC. Moon said the legislation has an emergency clause that would allow Idaho farmers to grow hemp this year if signed into law.

“It gives (farmers) an option to try a different product if they so desire,” she said after introducing the bill and leaving the meeting. “I think it’s important we give them those opportunities since everybody else is making hay, more or less, with hemp.”

According to the AP, supporters of legalizing hemp say the state’s climate is ideal for growing hemp. Farmers could sell hemp seeds and a hemp-derived extract called cannabidiol, or CBD, which is seen by many as a health aid.

“In its purified distilled form, CBD oil commands thousands of dollars per kilogram, and farmers can make more than $100,000 an acre growing hemp plants to produce it. That distillate also can be converted into a crystallized form or powder.”

Governor Brad Little earlier this year said that any attempt to legalize hemp he would not sign into law. However, the measure could still become law without his signature if supported by a majority of the legislature, and the legislature can overturn any potential veto of the measure.

An attempt to legalize hemp was one of the top topics in the Legislature last year. Moon said getting the bill introduced early in this year’s legislative session improves the chances of getting it passed.

“I’m excited the Senate has heard this bill early, and hopefully it will move through both chambers quickly and we’ll get it to the governor’s desk,” she said.

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