Hemp (copy)

Industrial hemp

Idaho Gov. Brad Little on Tuesday issued an executive order temporarily allowing interstate transportation of hemp through Idaho, subject to certain regulations, writes Idaho Press reporter Tommy Simmons. The order is a stopgap put in place until the Idaho Legislature can address the issue more permanently.

“From the start, I have stated I am not opposed to a new crop such as hemp, but that we need to be sure the production and shipping of industrial hemp is not a front to smuggle illicit drugs into and around Idaho," Little said in a statement. "We expected new federal rules would eventually result in hemp lawfully traveling across state lines. My administration has prepared for this development, working with partners in law enforcement and other interested parties. As it turns out, the rules were published at a time when the Idaho Legislature could not quickly respond. My executive order is a stopgap measure to address the narrow issue of interstate transportation of hemp until the Idaho Legislature develops a permanent regulatory framework around hemp,”

According to the executive order, hemp produced in accordance with the 2014 Farm Bill or 2018 Farm Bill will be temporarily allowed to travel through the state. The 2014 Farm Bill allowed states to set up pilot programs to grow hemp and the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the federal government’s list of controlled substances.

Idaho is one of only three states in the country without a program set up to allow farmers to grow hemp. Under Idaho law, there is no distinction between hemp and marijuana, so the substance is illegal in this state, despite unsuccessful efforts to change that in the Idaho Legislature's 2019 session.

You can read Simmons' full story here at idahopress.com (subscription required), or pick up Wednesday's edition of the Idaho Press.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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