[Vision2020] Nilsson Troy looks to legalize hemp

Moscow Cares moscowcares at moscow.com
Sat Dec 15 01:11:52 PST 2018

Courtesy of today’s (December 15, 2018) Moscow-Pullman Daily News.


Nilsson Troy looks to legalize hemp
Idaho representative plans to introduce bill during legislative session

Fifth District Rep. Caroline Nilsson Troy will introduce legislation early next year that would legalize hemp in Idaho.

If the legislation passes, Idaho would be the 41st state to allow the cultivation of hemp for commercial, research or pilot program purposes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The Genesee Republican said she has tried to bring hemp legislation forward the past four years, including last year, in which her proposed bill was tied to hemp research.

Congress approved an $867 billion farm bill this week which allocates billions of dollars in subsidies to American farmers and legalizes hemp, among other things. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill into law soon.

Nilsson Troy said several sections of Idaho code outlaw hemp, so even if the farm bill becomes law, she said it would still be illegal in the Gem State.

She said her proposed hemp bill is "drafted and ready to go." The legislation says Idaho would adhere to the guidelines set forth in the federal farm bill, Nilsson Troy said.

She said she hopes her legislation would allow people from other states to transport hemp through Idaho without fear of arrest. Every state surrounding Idaho provides some form of hemp legalization, according to the NCSL.

Hemp is used in products such as building materials, fiber, food, floor coverings, fuel, paint, animal feed, paper, particle board, plastics, cosmetics, seed and yarn.

If Nilsson Troy's legislation passes, she said people would be able to grow as much hemp as they desire.

"I'm very excited to find out if this is going to be a profitable alternative crop for this region," she said.

Nilsson Troy said the potential economic growth for the area's agriculture industry is what excites her about the legislation.

"The more alternative crops that they have and the more risk they can spread out over the crops that they're raising is beneficial to agriculture," she said. "It's amazing the tremendous amount of products that hemp can be used in or is used in."

Nilsson Troy said she could potentially see opportunities for spin-off businesses that would use hemp byproducts.

"I just think there's some economic development opportunities beyond agriculture if it's a viable crop for the Pacific Northwest, which we don't even really know yet," Nilsson Troy said.

If the crop turns out to be profitable, she expects it to be popular.

"If there's a market for stuff, farmers will figure that out pretty quickly," Nilsson Troy said. "They're a pretty clever bunch."

Idaho 5th District Sen. David Nelson, D-Moscow, said the proposed bill is a good idea. He said farmers are always looking for the best crop to grow and this could be a good alternative.

"I think it's a reasonable extra crop for our Palouse farmers," Nelson said.

Nilsson Troy said some entities, such as the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation, have long been interested in hemp legalization.

She said she is unsure how the state Legislature will receive the proposed bill.

"You never know how things are going to work out down there," Nilsson Troy said. "The things I think are simple become complicated and the complicated things that I think are going to be difficult are simple, so it's hard to tell. There's not a lot of enthusiasm in the Idaho Legislature for anything to do with marijuana other than (cannabidiol) oil. But it's going to be hard to deny these farmers an opportunity to grow an alternative crop when it's in the federal farm bill."




Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

Roll, roll, roll your joint twist it at the end, 
Take a puff, that's enough and pass it to a friend.
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