Idaho — which was the very last U.S. state to legalize industrial hemp — has issued eight hemp producer and handler licenses, the Kokomo Perspective reports.
Chanel Tewalt, deputy director of the Idaho Department of Agriculture, said 60 applications have been started with the state and officials have approved three handler licenses, four producer licenses, and one handler and producer license.
Under Idaho’s hemp program, which was passed in the 2021 session and approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in October, handlers can process seeds and other hemp products, while producers can grow hemp and market seeds, according to the report.
“Idaho took a very methodical and diligent approach, really investigating and understanding what it would mean to open this industry to growers in the state and really go in with our eyes wide open.” — Braden Jensen, Deputy Government Affairs Director for the Idaho Farm Bureau, via the Perspective
Lawmakers included an emergency clause that put the law into effect immediately following its passage. Tewalt said this led to a “busy summer” and the expedited process would not have been possible without the help of law enforcement, who have authority to stop hemp shipments to check for THC compliance (under 0.3%).
“We’ll pull samples from every single lot that is grown, and our sample size is determined on how big the lot is, the acreage,” Tewalt said. “The hemp can’t go anywhere. It cannot leave their farm until they receive an acceptable lab result.” Hemp lot’s that test over 0.3% can be mixed with other hemp to create a compliant mix, the piece notes.
The first hemp license awarded in Idaho was to Hempitecture Inc, a processor that creates hemp “wool” to be used for insulation.
“We view industrial hemp as an economic opportunity for Idaho, and we envision a future where industrial hemp can come from 10 miles from our facility versus 10 hours away,” remarked Mattie Mead, founder of Hempitecture Inc.
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