Hemp production now a possibility for Idaho farmers and businesses

Nov 17, 2021

The state of Idaho is now allowing businesses to obtain licenses to grow and distribute hemp.
Credit Courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture

Idaho has lagged behind neighboring states when it comes to legalizing the use of cannabis. But now the Gem State has approved incenses for producers to grow hemp for various uses.

It’s been nearly three years since the federal government granted states the power to draw up their own plans to regulate hemp production. Idaho lawmakers a bill clearing the way for hemp research and development earlier this year.

Now, Idaho Department of Agriculture Deputy Director Chanel Tewalt says applications for two types of hemp licenses are being accepted online.

“Either producers, so farmers under the 2018 farm bill standard, or handlers, so those are folks in the processing realm, so anyone who would process hemp biomass, into insulation, CBD, grain, those sorts of things. So two types of licenses, both under our hemp program,” she said.
There is no limit on the number of producers or amount of acreage that can be applied for, but Tewalt says there will be inspections to make sure the cannabis grown fits the definition of hemp, rather than marijuana, which is still illegal in Idaho and under federal law.

“We are very specific about THC, it has to be point-3 or under, if it is over point -3 , we have a set protocol, for how farmers can deal with that, it's online, they can choose to either dispose of that crop or remediate it, and there is a process where they can remediate hemp,” she said.

Tewalt says her office has fielded many inquiries since the online license application went up last week.  More information is at the Idaho Department of Agriculture website.