This was the first week growers in Idaho could apply for a license to grow hemp. The Gem State recently had its Hemp Plan approved by the USDA. While Idaho may have been one of the last states to come up with a Hemp Plan, Chanel Tewalt with the Idaho state Department of Agriculture said that allowed them to learn lessons from other states.
“We’ve seen the boom and bust in the hemp market and we’ve also seen other states that were on the 2014 Farm Bill standard now move to the 2018 standard. We are starting out on the 2018 standard so we don’t have to really shift gears programmatically and there’s probably some benefit to that, we’re not changing the game mid-stream for folks who have already been producing. We’ll start off on the same standard everyone else is moving to.”
Idaho started the Hemp Plan process back in April, when House Bill 126, the Idaho Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act was signed into law. While the Plan has been approved at the state and federal level, and the application process is open on-line, Tewalt said they understand this is not a one and done effort. She noted that Idaho growers will produce for a season but the ISDA still wants to hear from stakeholders about lessons learned and things that need to be done differently. It’s all about improving the program for growers.
“For our base year, our chief concern was to meet the metrics of the new law and that meant having a state hemp law that looked like the 2018 Farm Bill standard. So that was our primary objective, but we know there are other things that can happen within a hemp program if that’s what the stakeholders in Idaho want.”
Visit the ISDA’s Website to learn more about the application process.
If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail [email protected]