Idaho House Committee Unanimously Approves Bill That Would Legalize CBD Oil

Feb 23, 2018

A bill that would legalize CBD oil, a derivative of marijuana with therapeutic qualities, passed the House Health and Welfare Committee unanimously. It still needs approval from the full House, the Senate and Governor Butch Otter's signature to become law.
Credit tschoppl / Flickr

A bill that would legalize CBD oil got unanimous support from a committee in the Idaho House this week. Derived from cannabis and used for therapeutic purposes, the oil has been contentious given Idaho’s zero-tolerance policy on marijuana.

The head of the House Health and Welfare Committee, Fred Wood, is also a retired physician. He told his colleagues cannabidiol oil is just 0.3 percent THC – the compound in marijuana that gets you high. With such a tiny part of the oil being comprised of THC, the Republican lawmaker said CBD oil is certainly not marijuana.

Wood’s comments were made amid a two-and-a-half hour long hearing on the oil that drew comments both in favor and against the substance.

According to the Spokesman Review, a commercial version of CBD oil, Epidiolex, could soon be approved by the FDA and cost up to $60,000 a year. It's showing promise in calming the seizures of about three dozen epileptic children in Idaho taking part in a medical experiment.

Republican Representative Dorothy Moon introduced the legislation to legalize CBD oil. She said her bill is clear in only permitting oil and not other cannabis products.

In 2015, the state passed legislation allowing sick children to be treated with CBD oil, but Governor Butch Otter vetoed it for fear of expanding illegal drug use in Idaho. Instead, he created the trial program for children.

Moon’s bill still needs approval from the full House, the Senate and the governor’s signature to become law.

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