Abby Lee

Sen. Abby Lee

There’s been a lot of noise on social media over the weekend that HB 122a, the hemp legalization bill as amended, would outlaw CBD oil, even if it contains no THC — and Sen. Abby Lee, R-Fruitland, the bill’s Senate sponsor, said this morning that that is NOT the case. “Nothing changes,” she said. “It really just deals with anything that has THC.”

Under current Idaho law, anything with any amount of THC is marijuana — that’s why truck drivers hauling loads of legal industrial hemp through Idaho have been arrested and charged with marijuana trafficking, a felony punishable by a mandatory minimum of five years in prison. Under HB 122a, anything with not more than 0.3 percent THC would be defined as hemp; anything with more than that would continue to be defined as marijuana.

Earlier this session, HB 11 passed and was signed into law which legalized Epidiolex, an FDA-approved CBD drug that’s available only by prescription. That law specifies that the approved drug can have up to 0.1 percent THC.

Anything with zero THC, Lee said, “It still comes from the plant, but it’s not illegal today.”

The amendments to the bill include this sentence at the end of the definition of hemp, which is defined as cannabis products with up to 0.3 percent THC: “It does not include any approved cannabidiol drugs listed on schedule V in section 37-2713, Idaho Code.” That’s the section where the new language from HB 11 about Epidiolex is found; before that bill passed, there was no mention of CBD in that section of state law. The new section inserted by HB 11 says it applies only to an FDA-approved drug.

Lee said the question that’s now being raised is about CBD oil with “just a little bit of THC.” Under current law, she said, “If it has just a little bit of THC, it was marijuana.” She said under HB 122 as amended, it will be up to the state Board of Pharmacy to develop rules for how to address such products. “How we’re going to manage CBD is still to be identified,” Lee said. “It doesn’t change under the bill or the amendments.”

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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