The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (aka “the farm bill”) legalizes the growing of hemp as an agricultural crop, but don’t go planning your Idaho hemp farm yet. It’s still illegal here.
“Industrial hemp remains illegal in Idaho,” said Chanel Tewalt, chief operating officer/communications for the Idaho Department of Agriculture. “The 2018 Farm Bill does not pre-empt state law nor does it prohibit states from having more stringent requirements than the new federal law.”
Hemp is considered to have a much lower dose of the intoxicating compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than marijuana. “However, Idaho Code does not distinguish between the two,” Tewalt said.
She explained that Idaho law states that any level of THC “shall create a presumption that such material is ‘marijuana.'”
As a controlled substance, Idaho’s regulation of hemp falls within the purview of the Idaho Board of Pharmacy and Idaho State Police.
To make it legal to grow hemp, Idaho will have to change its law to differentiate between hemp and marijuana. Former Idaho legislator Tom Trail tried to change the Idaho law but did not succeed. All the states surrounding Idaho allow hemp to be grown in some fashion, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.