Idaho lawmakers agree to allow hemp cultivation, marking 50th state

Idaho, the only state that still bans hemp cultivation, could join its neighbors under a hemp-authorization measure that awaits the governor’s signature.

Idaho lawmakers agreed this week to a bill allowing the production, processing, transportation and research of hemp.

The measure would allow commercial production to begin in 2022 and require the plant’s total THC content, including THC-A, to come in at or below 0.3%.

The bill would require hemp transporters to submit to law-enforcement searches and to allow peace officers to “randomly select reasonably sized samples not to exceed 20 grams” for THC compliance testing.

Other regulatory details and fees will be worked out later by the Idaho Department of Agriculture, which is directed to submit a plan to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for approval “as expeditiously as possible.”

Gov. Brad Little has not said whether he would sign the bill. But in 2019, Little issued an executive order allowing hemp to be transported across the state to comply with federal law and said, “From the start, I have stated I am not opposed to a new crop such as hemp.”

The 2018 Farm Bill authorized states to allow hemp cultivation but did not require them to do so. Forty-nine states now allow some form of commercial hemp production.