Idaho Governor Brad Little issued an executive order on Tuesday that allows hemp to be transported through the state. The order is meant to resolve issues between state and federal governments.
The order is a stopgap measure until Idaho Legislature can develop a permanent solution in its 2020 session. According to the release, “The executive order does not authorize or legalize the production of hemp, its byproducts, oils, or any other derivative prohibited by Idaho law.”
The 2018 farm bill legalized hemp nationwide but allowed each state to determine its own plan to implement it. The bill also made all transportation and shipping of hemp from state to state legal under federal law.
When Idaho chose to remain one of the few states that does not permit hemp in any form, that created a conflict between state and federal law. A conflict that led to felony drug charges for several truck drivers who were transporting the plant through the state.
The truck drivers ultimately plead guilty to misdemeanors and were sentenced to unsupervised probation.
“In late October, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued interim final rules regulating the production of hemp in states that have legalized it,” Little said. “Upon publication of those interim final rules, Idaho law now likely conflicts with federal law with respect to interstate transportation of hemp.”
State law enforcement will start working to enforce these temporary rules.
“From the start, I have stated I am not opposed to a new crop such as hemp, but that we need to be sure the production and shipping of industrial hemp is not a front to smuggle illicit drugs into and around Idaho,” Little told the press. “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.”