Lawmakers in an Idaho House of Representatives legislative committee voted against a bill that would have legalized hemp agriculture in the state. The 8 to 7 vote by the House State Affairs Committee killed the measure, SB 1345, that was passed by the Idaho Senate with a vote of 27 to 5 in February.
Had the bill succeeded, farmers in Idaho would have been able to grow hemp, which was legalized by the federal government with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. The measure also directed the Idaho Department of Agriculture to develop a plan for the permitting, testing, and transportation of the crop in the state.
“Idaho agriculture lost today, bad,” said Tim Cornie, a farmer from Buhl, Idaho. “The farmer really lost.”
“I am really, really disappointed,” he added. “It’s extremely foolish.”
Republican Rep. Caroline Nilsson Troy, the SB 1345’s sponsor in the House, said that the bill had been drafted with consideration for both the economic potential of the crop and concerns from law enforcement, who fear that hemp is too difficult to distinguish from marijuana.
“This is the bill that we tried to make so that it could work for everybody and work the most