The Idaho State Department of Agriculture launched its online application system for would-be hemp growers early last week, and applications are beginning to trickle in.
Nineteen hemp producer and handler applications have been entered since the system went live on Nov. 8, The Times-News reported Wednesday.
Idaho became the last state in the nation to legalize the production and processing of industrial hemp earlier this year, but hemp producers need to be licensed — a process that includes submitting a background check, providing information about the farm or handling facility and getting official approval from the state.
Those who are approved can begin producing and handling hemp products in 2022.
“I expect more farmers will apply,” said Buhl farmer Tim Cornie, who submitted an application. “This is just the tip of the iceberg.”
Cornie, co-owner of 1,000 Springs Mill, has been interested in growing hemp for a long time.
“We have been lobbying for it for over two years because we knew it was a product that went well with our product line and was super healthy,” Cornie said.