The climate for cannabidiol (CBD) in the state of Idaho isn’t as favorable as is currently enjoyed in the neighboring states of Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada. Some of Idaho’s neighbors have legalized both recreational and medicinal cannabis, while others, like Wyoming and Utah, allow space for legal CBD, a hemp-derived, non-psychoactive cannabis compound.
Unfortunately, cannabis, in all forms, is illegal in Idaho. Even hemp-derived therapeutic tinctures and oils are illegal. Over the years, politicians have promoted various bills attempting to open up legal access to CBD oil, but these bills continue to fail on the Senate floor. The Idaho political climate is just to oppositional.
So, the status of CBD oil in Idaho is not great. Clearly, Idaho is one of the more staunchly anti-cannabis states in the U.S, and therefore many politicians remain steadfastly opposed to all related products. Inside the state, there is fierce opposition from the current Republican governor, even for products derived from hemp. There is a lot to unpack when you look at CBD oil, Idaho legislators and the continued push for legal access.
Is CBD Oil Legal in the U.S.?
Many people assume that, because the hemp plant is legal to grow and import into the U.S. (under certain circumstances), so too are all hemp derived products, and in most states, this is allowed.
Hemp products, like CBD oil, do not have psychoactive properties associated with the marijuana plant. Does this mean that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) approves of CBD? Well, that is still not 100% clear, even though the Agency seems to be loosening-up regulation in this regard. In May 2018 it clarified that not all cannabis compounds fall under the Controlled Substances Act, an announcement that apparently followed upon ‘numerous inquiries on the matter’. 
Other federal agencies appear to be of the opinion that CBD oil is safe to use for the treatment of certain illnesses. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently recommended the approval of a CBD-based medicine for the treatment of intractable epilepsy, or “seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome”. While this is a step towards full federal approval of hemp-derived CBD oil, it doesn't mean the sector is clearcut. The conflict between government agencies on the legal status of CBD oil in America means the sector still operates in a legal grey area.
As mentioned, many states are making it easier for their residents by moving out of this legal murky zone and into the clear. To date, 30 states and counting have approved medical and/or recreational cannabis (which includes CBD oil), and a further 17 states have approved access to CBD oil to some extent. Yet, despite the state’s more progressive neighbors, momentum for legal access to CBD oil in Idaho is still slow.
Why Idahoans Are Asking, “Is CBD Oil Legal in Idaho?”
It’s not just for rare forms of epilepsy that CBD oil may prove beneficial for. Cannabidiol is a much less controversial compound than THC, and it seems to hold many secrets for fighting illness and disease. This is at least according to the research on the subject thus far.
Today, people across the country and around the world are taking CBD oil to help with any number of health issues, both physical and mental. According to a recent industry survey, people use CBD oil most commonly for the following conditions:
- joint pain.
- muscle tension and strain,
- chronic pain,
- arthritis, and
So, it is clear that there is a wide variety of possible applications for CBD oil. A number of Idaho’s politicians seems to be taking note of this, and their constituents’ needs, even if their current Governor and Senate are lagging behind.
The Latest on CBD Oil in Idaho
It’s already been three years since Republican Gov. “Butch” Otter vetoed the first CBD bill, and some state politicians continue to fight the passage of any bill on CBD. In March of 2018, Idaho state legislatures were poised to pass legislation allowing for legal access to CBD oil, but at the last minute, everything fell apart - again.
Photo Source: www.legislature.idaho.gov
During the debate on the CBD oil bill, there was a lot of rule bending (or breaking) going on. First, Republican Sen. Tony Potts unceremoniously pushed the CBD oil bill in front of the Senate House Health and Welfare Committee, perhaps before it was ready. This sent shockwaves through the Committee, and many people pointed out it didn’t follow normal protocols.
The second issue that ultimately led to the tabling of the CBD oil in Idaho, was the move to bring the committee behind closed doors. Chairman of the board, Lee Heider, moved everyone into his office and excluded the press.
According to reporters, shouts could be heard from inside as both sides of the debate weighed in on the lack of protocol. But this closed door meeting was violating a Senate rule which states “all meetings of any standing, select, or special committee shall be open to the public at all times.” The bill was later rescinded because of the rule violation. 
The Future of CBD Oil, Idaho, and Cannabis More Generally
There have been recent rumblings in Idaho about legalizing cannabis more broadly, but unlike other neighboring states, campaigners are finding it difficult to get enough signatures to bring it to the ballot. It’s less likely that the issue lies with the opinion of state residents, but more with the structure of the system. Any petition in Idaho must get six percent of state residents to sign before it's added to the November ballot. Also, Idaho’s signature distribution requirements are particularly restrictive, and so far, campaigners have struggled to meet them.
This year, come November, there is one glimmer of hope for CBD oil in Idaho. Longtime opponent to cannabis and CBD oil, Gov. “Butch” Otter, is not seeking reelection. Considering many of Idaho’s neighbors are progressively opening access to CBD oil, and reaping the medicinal and economic benefits of legal cannabis, perhaps the new Governor will be more accepting of the plant’s medical applications.