Idaho Industrial Hemp Production More Than Doubled Between 2022, 2023

in Culture

The Idaho Farm Bureau Federation recently released information regarding an increase in hemp cultivation for last year. During 2023, farmers planted 1,273 acres of hemp, which is a massive increase from the 459 acres cultivated in 2022.

Idaho was the 50th state in the U.S. to legalize the production and cultivation of hemp after Gov. Brad Little signed House Bill 126. According to a news report from the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation, 2,440 acres of hemp has been approved via cultivation licenses as of May 31. A majority of Idaho hemp is cultivated in south central Idaho.

In 2022, some hemp farmers targeted cultivation for CBD, and very few did so in 2023. 

In 2022, approximately 44 acres of hemp were destroyed because the crops exceeded the minimum levels of THC, even though they were CBD varieties. In 2023, there was no recorded hemp crop destruction.

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) ag. program manager Greg Blahato explained that plants grown for hemp fiber seem to respond well to the climate. “The fiber varieties have taken off, and that’s what seems to grow very well here,” Blahato said.

ISDA hemp bureau chief Casey Monn suggested that growing hemp wasn’t a problem, but harvesting was challenging for some cultivators. “From the regulatory side, we didn’t see any issues with the crop last year,” Monn said. “Some folks were able to grow and harvest it very, very well and there were some folks that seemed to struggle with growing and harvesting it.” Some of the challenges included improper drying techniques, which led to the plant being “too green or wet,” according to the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation.

Current state law states that people can only grow cannabis if they receive a license from the ISDA. Monn referred to Idaho’s hemp law as one of the most strict in …

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Author: Nicole Potter / High Times

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