Idaho has decided to remain one of two states preventing farmers from growing hemp. Idaho and Mississippi are the only two remaining states without legal hemp programs. Idaho farmers are considering this a major loss for Idaho’s agriculture.
The vote was a close one within the House State Affairs Committee with a 8-7 vote to kill the bill that had been passed by the Senate in February. Prior to proposing the bill many hours were spent trying to make sure the bill worked for everyone: farmers, producers, and law enforcement. Idaho continues to not distinguish between marijuana and hemp meaning hemp, even with its minimal THC content, is still considered a Schedule I drug – the same as heroin and LSD.
It seems the bill did not pass due to the continuing stigma around marijuana and those in the Idaho government who consider “hemp culture” to be cut from the same delinquent cloth. One supporter of hemp quoted for the article, “Comparing marijuana and hemp is like comparing a house cat and a mountain lion.”