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Hemp production is just around the corner in Idaho

After bursting onto the farming scene around the country several years ago, hemp production declined. That’s expected to change, with the U.S. market for hemp projected to triple from $5.6 billion a year now, to $17.4 billion by 2027.
Posted at 3:05 PM, Nov 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-23 19:03:42-05

MAGIC VALLEY, Idaho — Applicants approved by the Idaho State Department of Agriculture will be able to produce and handle hemp in Idaho beginning January 1.

Applications for producing and handling hemp opened November 8, and are the first step in growing hemp in the Gem State. Those applying must undergo a background check and provide information about their farms.

“We really want farmers to know what they’re getting into, this is a complex program. We really want them to reach out with questions but to really be thoughtful about whether or not this option is the right fit for them,” said Chanel Tewalt, deputy director of the ISDA.

Applications have begun to roll in, several from the Magic Valley. Organic farmer and co-owner of 1000 Springs Mill in Buhl, Tim Cornie, said he has already been approved for his hemp license.

“It’s going to be kind of a positive thing for this valley. I feel it’s going to be a very profitable crop but it’s just going to take a little time to figure out the bugs of growing it because no one has a lot of experience with it yet," said Cornie.

Related: Idaho gets OK to license farmers to grow and transport hemp

Once applicants are approved, production can kick off no sooner than January 1, 2022. More information can be found on the ISDA Hemp Program website.