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Idaho Business and Town Fight Over Marijuana Extract’s Legality

Idaho MMJ

In 2013, Idaho lawmakers vowed to never legalize any form of marijuana for any purpose, but Welcomed Science has been trying to open a store offering dietary supplements and CBD oil, a derivative from marijuana. City attorney, Charles Wadams denied the business’ building license solely for its disclosure of carrying CBD oil.

CBD oil is illegal in Idaho, regardless of its source, Idaho Statesman reports. However, in 2015, the state attorney general altered the previous opinion saying that CBD oil containing zero THC is legal. Many of the CBD products available on the market are derived from hemp and contain 0.3-percent or less THC (not nearly enough to produce a high – even if the whole bottle was consumed at once).

The biggest issue for Welcomed Science has been what is really in the CBD oil. Michael Larsen says that the products he plans to carry do not contain THC. The vendors are required to provide independent samples to the Garden City police department for testing.

That’s not the only hoop that Larsen has to jump through before the city will consider approving his business license – he also has to provide an affidavit from an expert guaranteeing that the products are legal by Idaho’s standards.

A store did open in Sandpoint in 2016 and it sells CBD vape and tinctures. Sandpoint welcomed the business. So, people in Idaho do have access to CBD oil, there just aren’t many options and for some people – it can be quite the adventure just to get to that location.

Attorney Joe Filicetti told the vendor for Larsen’s proposed store that what local authorities understand about CBD is “absolutely ridiculous”, meaning that they don’t really understand it. Garden City has gone as far as to speak to other law enforcement agencies for guidance in blocking Welcomed Science from offering CBD oil to consumers.

Wadams said, “The city’s position is based on its own independent conclusion that before issuing a building permit, it is obligated to verify that the CBD oil products in question are legal.”

Advocates for CBD in Idaho are going to fight for CBD oil legalization in 2018. Efforts did pass in 2015 that would have allowed children with severe epileptic conditions to use CBD oil but Governor Otter vetoed the bill fearing it would open the door for looser marijuana laws in the state.