Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) on Friday signed the bill to legalize the production and transport of hemp, the Associated Press reports. Idaho was the last state to continue the prohibition of hemp following federal reforms enacted in 2018.
The bill took effect immediately but farmers cannot begin to cultivate crops until regulators develop rules – which is required under the law by 2022. It sets THC and THC-A limits in hemp at 0.3% and includes language banning all products containing any level of THC, including CBD products if they contain any of the psychoactive cannabinoid.
Under the bill, first-time violations for cultivating or transporting hemp over the legal limit can lead to a fine of up to $150, with fines up to $300 for second-time offenders. Violating the law three or more times within a five-year span could bring a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail.
The bill requires hemp transporters to allow law-enforcement searches and that they are allowed to “randomly select” up to 20 grams for compliance testing. The bill also allows for hemp research.
In 2019, Little signed an executive order allowing hemp to be transported through the state after at least two individuals were arrested and charged with drug violations while transporting crops. At the time, Little said he was “not opposed” to hemp but that state lawmakers “could not quickly respond” to the federal changes.
The Idaho Department of Agriculture is required to submit a plan for the program by September 1.
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