Idaho’s state legislative session ended earlier this month with a tinge of disappointment. Despite overwhelming bipartisan support to legalize industrial hemp, the legislature was unable to pass a resolution to relax the state’s hemp ban. Adding to the frustration felt by hemp advocates was the shared inability of both the state’s House and Senate to approve measures legalizing hemp, as they failed to reconcile their competing bills.
That failure could prove problematic over the coming year: Aside from the lost opportunity to take advantage of the socioeconomic benefits afforded by legalization, there remains a heightened legal risk of transporting hemp through the state.
Though the 2018 Farm Bill made hemp federally legal, for the time being it remains codified as a Schedule I controlled substance under Idaho state law. At least one truck driver this year has been arrested by Idaho State Police for transporting hemp, yet charged with trafficking in cannabis. Until Idaho reconciles their laws, many consider the state a dead zone for the hemp industry.
Idaho is not the only state yet to reform its hemp laws since passage of the new Farm Bill. Six others still treat …