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CBD oil has grown in popularity throughout the country. Cannabidiol is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid that is found in both marijuana and in industrial hemp. Many people in Idaho and other states swear by it as a remedy for anxiety, depression, chronic pain, insomnia and other issues. However, before seeking CBD out, most people in Idaho wish to know, Is CBD legal in Idaho? Despite the fact that industrial hemp has been legalized nationwide and that CBD products are easy to acquire, the details of Idaho’s laws may surprise you.
Is CBD oil legal in Idaho?
Since hemp was legalized throughout the country through the 2018 Farm Bill, most people would assume that hemp-derived CBD products are legal, as well. However, only CBD products that are completely free of THC and made only from non-flowering parts of the plant, would be considered legal in Idaho. The federal limit is .3% THC, which allows for the small amount of naturally occurring cannabinoids, which are nonetheless too small an amount to cause intoxication. Since eliminating 100% of THC would be extremely difficult, all hemp products, including hemp-based CBD, are illegal in the state.
Idaho’s Attorney General says that cannabis products, including hemp and non-psychoactive CBD products, are considered schedule I controlled substances in the state of Idaho. There is a single FDA-approved medication that contains CBD, the epilepsy medication Epidiolex. Without a prescription for that specific medication, any CBD product should be considered illegal in Idaho. Idaho does not have exceptions for medical marijuana in state laws, so marijuana-based CBD products are also illegal in the state.
What are the current CBD laws in Idaho?
All cannabis products, whether they are produced with marijuana or industrial hemp, are illegal in the state. Lawmakers allow that CBD products with 0% THC would be legal; however, a complete absence of THC is difficult to achieve. This limitation effectively outlaws all CBD products.
This limitation is one many people would find surprising, since the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the federal Schedule 1 controlled substance list, and reclassified hemp as an agricultural commodity instead. However, the Farm Bill left regulation and enforcement of hemp laws up to the individual states.
Idaho is a state that has historically had strict anti-marijuana laws. Idaho first outlaws cannabis in 1927. Herbert Lemp, who was the mayor of Boise at the time marijuana was prohibited, described the drug as a dangerous narcotic introduced by Mexican beet field workers.
This attitude toward marijuana and its derivatives remained well into the 21st century. In 2013, at a time when more and more states were debating medical marijuana laws, Idaho’s Legislature preemptively approved a statement affirming their opposition to ever legalizing cannabis in the state. Lawmaker said that legalization in nearby states like Washington and Oregon had led to larger amounts of illegal marijuana being shipped through and into the state.
While proponents of the statement said it was necessary, opponents said that the measure was out of touch with sentiment in the state and current understanding of the potential benefits of substances like CBD and medical marijuana. In both 2012 and 2014, citizens in the state attempted to get medical marijuana laws onto ballots in Idaho. However, both efforts failed due to insufficient numbers of signatures. Another attempt was made in 2016, but was withdrawn before the signatures could be counted. In 2018, a subsequent campaign failed when its organizer, Tesla Gillespie had to drop out of the effort to care for her son. Collecting enough signatures to get a measure onto Idaho ballots is unusually difficult because of the state’s rules. Instead of a flat number of qualified signatures throughout the state, proponents must collect enough signatures to reflect at least six percent of voters in at least 18 of the state’s 25 legislative districts. Because many of Idaho’s districts are rural and spread out, this makes it difficult to meet the requirements.
Sporadic attempts toward legalizing CBD and medical marijuana have also been made in the state legislature without success. In 2015, Senate Bill 1146a, which would have legalized CBD oil for those with severe epilepsy, was passed by the state legislature. However, Governor Butch Otter vetoed the bill in April 2015. The governor said that the bill was contradicted federal law and opened the door for potential misuse.
Federal law, however, changed in 2018 with the reclassification of hemp in the Farm Bill. A bill that would allow cultivation of hemp passed the state legislature in 2019, but was not signed by Idaho’s governor.
Idaho’s State Senate passed SB 1345 in early 2020, which would legalize hemp cultivation and transportation in the state. A number of farmers spoke to the legislators in favor of the bill, saying that it would open up a number of new opportunities for farmers in the state. However, when the bill went to the state house, it was killed by a House committee. After listening to retired law enforcement personnel and anti-marijuana activists who warned of a “marijuana-hemp culture” developing in Idaho, the committee voted 8-7 to kill the legislation.
Many have observed that, despite the laws, many CBD and hemp products are available in Idaho. However, this has not prevented Idaho law enforcement from arresting and prosecuting those who transport hemp within the state. In 2019, three truck driver were arrested for transporting cannabis through the state. Although all three maintained that their cargo was industrial hemp, law enforcement said that, under Idaho’s laws, that distinction would not matter. Two of the three pled guilty to felony possession of marijuana with intent to deliver in exchange for reducing their charges to misdemeanors. A third pled not guilty and opted to go to trial. The charges against him were eventually dropped.
Idaho State Police Lieutenant Colonel Sheldon Kelley also confirmed in a news story that individuals purchasing CBD in Idaho are at risk of arrest. CBD products with anything more than 0% THC would be treated the same as marijuana. Possession of under three ounces in Idaho is classified as a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to a year in jail, and/or a $1000 fine. While some products are labeled 0% THC, state lawmakers warn that CBD is not regulated in Idaho, so it is possible that CBD products may still contain trace amounts of THC.
Can I purchase CBD in Idaho?
Here’s where the situation gets interesting. While lawmakers in Idaho have repeatedly reaffirmed their opposition to hemp under state law, CBD products can easily be acquired throughout the state of Idaho. It is also possible to order CBD products online to have them delivered to your home.
However, with the laws as they currently stand in the state of Idaho, anyone who is purchasing CBD products, whether they are marijuana or hemp-derived, is technically at risk of arrest, since these are considered Schedule 1 substances within the state.