Friday, August 19, 2022

Last But Not Least, Idaho Becomes 50th State To Legalize Hemp

Licensed handlers are allowed to process raw hemp materials into other materials but they can’t grow the crop.

By Nicolas Jose Rodriguez

Hemp, Inc., a global industrial hemp industry leader, praised Idaho on becoming the 50th state to legalize hemp.

Thanks to House Bill No. 26 passing in Idaho’s April 2021 legislature, with an emergency clause that made the law effective as soon as it passed both chambers, farmers are now receiving their hemp licenses so that they can legally “produce and handle the crop during this growing season for commodities such as insulation, paper, oil and food products.”

American Hemp Farmers Will Continue To Struggle In 2021
Photo by Aphiwat chuangchoem from Pexels

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Idaho’s industrial hemp legalization gives its farmers an opportunity to diversify their operations, potentially creating more opportunities to do business with other companies in the industry.

Twenty Years In The Making

Idaho Farm Bureau’s deputy government affairs director, Braden Jensen said the Bureau has been “pushing for the policy change for the better part of the past 20 years, but the 2018 Federal Farm Bill that removed hemp from the controlled substances list made the issue a priority in the 2021 legislative session.”

New Licensing System

Idaho now has two licensing options for its farmers (handlers and producers). Licensed handlers are allowed to process raw hemp materials into other materials but they can’t grow the crop. Licensed producers can grow and market the hemp crop. Both licenses will require background checks that will need to be renewed annually and producers will have their hemp lots tested for acceptable levels of THC (below 0.3%).

If any sample of the lot tests higher than this threshold, the entire crop will either be destroyed or blended with a different strain to lower the THC amount.

RELATED: Cannabis, Marijuana And Hemp — What Is The Difference, Exactly?

The news source stated that Idaho had about 60 applications in November of 2021 and as of today, 8 have been fully granted (4 handlers, 3 producers, 1 handler/producer).

Exponential Growth

The industrial hemp market is growing exponentially. A new report by Grand View Research, Inc. (October, 2021) noted the global industrial hemp market is expected to reach 12.01 billion by 2028 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.2% from 2021 to 2028.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.

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