Idaho Hemp: How The State Legalized Industrial Hemp

IDAHO HEMP | With the passing of the 2018 US Farm Bill, most people thought hemp became legal everywhere, right? Not entirely true.

The bill provided consumers with the ability to buy and use hemp-derived products everywhere. It also made it legal to grow in theory, but not all states had plans in place to put this new ruling into action. This delayed the ability for those wanting to get into the hemp industry to get a license.

Things picked up speed though, and by now, most states are on their feet with an approved hemp plan in place or in the works. The one state that lagged behind — Idaho.

Hemp only became legal to grow in Idaho last year, and farmers are only now beginning to receive licenses to produce and handle the crop.

What took Idaho Hemp so long?

Legalization took place with the passing of a bill in April 2021. Although the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the plant a few years back, the Idaho Legislature took a little longer to establish itself in the industry. Idaho is the 50th state to legalize industrial hemp.

The delay in legalization is in part a result of the state’s decision to act as regulator, rather than allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to hold the reins. Idaho’s Department of Agriculture is now responsible for the guidelines that govern how hemp gets produced, processed, transported, and even researched within the state.

Idaho’s state plan has already received approval by the USDA.

How licenses in Idaho will work

There are two license options in Idaho — one for growers, aka producers, and one for processors, aka handlers. A handler can only process raw hemp materials into other products. A producer can only grow and market the crop. Both licenses allow holders to work with seeds.

Anyone with a hemp license of any kind, in Idaho, must undergo a background check and renew their license annually. Producers are also required to have their crops tested for appropriate levels, 0.3 percent or less, of THC. Additionally, law enforcement can still stop a vehicle transporting hemp and test its THC levels as well.

Sixty applications initially went into the state for approval. So far, only eight have been granted.

The future continues to look good

The more states that normalize hemp as a farm crop, by providing access to growers and processors, the more the crop can really show off what it can do. With amazing versatility, hemp is so much more than the variety of products you see on store shelves. Its applications in construction, manufacturing, and more give it so much potential. It will be exciting to see where it goes next.

Stay on top of the latest developments in all things hemp. Check out the robust and helpful resources that Arbor Vita8 offers. And, if you’re interested in hemp farming, or are already looking for a processor, contact us today for more information on how we can form a lucrative partnership.

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