The last state to legalize industrial hemp is now accepting grower and processor applications for its inaugural season—2022.
The Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) opened its hemp license application portal through an online system on the ISDA website Nov. 8. The department’s hemp page includes videos and other resources to assist with the licensing process.
Licenses are valid for a one-year term (Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2022), unless revoked or suspended. The application period runs through Dec. 31, 2021. Late applications are valid from the date of issuance, but fees cannot be prorated and are non-refundable once a license has been issued, according to ISDA.
For potential growers, fees include $100 for annual applications, $500 for annual licenses, and $250 per lot plus a $35-per-hour rate for producer pre-harvest inspections to cover time spent traveling to sites and the actual cost for shipping samples.
Farmers can apply for licenses for lot sizes ranging from 2 to 25 acres. But if a sample tests “hot” above the 0.3% THC threshold defined in the 2018 Farm Bill, then farmers risk losing their entire crop for that lot.
For potential handlers (those who intend to process hemp into commodities or products including smokable hemp), fees include $100 for annual applications, $1,000 for annual licenses, and $500 per site plus a $35-per-hour rate for annual site inspections.
Applicants seeking to produce and handle hemp require both license types, but the annual application fee of $100 is charged only for the first license type.
In addition, licensees are required to pay the costs of background checks and required testing directly to the entity providing the service. Potential licensees must obtain a current Idaho State Police or FBI background check no more than 60 days before submitting their applications.
The forthcoming hemp season is a result of House Bill 126, the Idaho Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act, which Gov. Brad Little signed into law in April.
Legalizing the production, processing, research and transportation of industrial hemp, H.B. 126 tasked ISDA with developing a state hemp program consistent with the 2018 Farm Bill. The plan for that program was recently approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, opening the door for ISDA to launch its application process this week.
“ISDA worked throughout the summer and fall to be able to deliver on the ambitious timeline established under H.B. 126,” ISDA Director Celia Gould said in an update statement.
“We want licensees to go into this process with eyes wide open,” she said. “This is an intricate program, and we want to ensure potential applicants are aware of requirements for this commodity.”
The ISDA urges potential applicants to read through all hemp laws and regulations.
For additional technical assistance or questions about hemp licensing, potential applicants can also email email@example.com.