Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) has issued an executive order allowing hemp to be transported through the state. The action comes after at least two hemp transporters were arrested in the state. One case, opened by the Idaho State Police, remains active while the other, opened by Boise Police, is closed after lab testing identified the products as hemp and police returned them to sender.
The executive order does not allow hemp production in the state and requires the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, Idaho State Police, and Idaho Transportation Department to come up with temporary rules and work cooperatively to carry out the order. Little admitted that with the federal law changes to legalize hemp, the state’s law conflicted with federal law “with respect to interstate transportation of hemp.”
Little said that while he is “not opposed to a new crop such as hemp,” the government needs “to be sure the production and shipping of industrial hemp is not a front to smuggle illicit drugs into and around Idaho.”
“We expected new federal rules would eventually result in hemp lawfully traveling across state lines. My administration has prepared for this development, working with partners in law enforcement and other interested parties. As it turns out, the rules were published at a time when the Idaho Legislature could not quickly respond. My executive order is a stopgap measure to address the narrow issue of interstate transportation of hemp until the Idaho Legislature develops a permanent regulatory framework around hemp.” – Little, in a press release
In May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a memo explicitly allowing interstate hemp transport. Little’s executive order says that hemp can only be transported “on interstate highways and in the immediate vicinity of an interstate highway” and “no hemp shall be transported on any other roadway or highway other than an interstate highway or in the immediate vicinity of an interstate highway except in the case of a detour authorized by the Idaho Transportation Department.”
The executive order does not address the cases of individuals already facing legal action for hemp transportation.
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