Idaho Senate Panel Sends Hemp Legalization Bill Forward For Amendments

Mar 26, 2019

A bill that would legalize hemp in Idaho is headed to the state Senate. The proposal may also gain a key ally with a few tweaks.

The Senate State Affairs Committee unanimously signed off on the measure after two hours of testimony Monday. Hemp doesn’t contain enough THC to get you high like marijuana, but any amount of the drug is illegal under Idaho law.

Backers of the bill say legalizing hemp might not be a gold rush for Idaho farmers, but it would give them more options as they rotate their crops.

Law enforcement groups oppose the measure in its current form.

Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue says he comes from a family of farmers, like a lot of Idaho residents.

“We all come from it, but we can’t let profits override the law. Law enforcement has to enforce the law,” Donahue says.

The Idaho Sheriff’s Association offered up an amendment that would let state police set up check stations for hemp being shipped through the state. They could also charge fees for shipping permits.

According to the Associated Press, Gov. Brad Little says he could support the bill with these changes.

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