This week the Idaho Senate approved legislation to legalize growing and selling hemp products in the state.
Whether or not the House will approve the bill has yet to be decided. The law would bring Idaho in alignment with a federal farm bill passed last year that legalized hemp, a nonpsychoactive plant with hundreds of uses.
For now, Idaho code views hemp in the same light as it does recreational cannabis, an illegal drug. While more states around the country legalize recreational cannabis each year, many believe Idaho will be one of the last to legalize, if it ever does.
Idaho’s politics pertaining to cannabis and hemp will be among the topics discussed Saturday at Moscow Hemp Fest. For the first time in 23 years, the festival will not take place at East City Park. Instead, it is being moved to the Latah County Fairgrounds.
Rumors are swirling in Moscow about the venue change, said Arlene Falcon, the festival’s organizer. The switch has nothing to do with Idaho’s politics and everything to do with weather and soggy conditions at the park.
“I would like to make this clear that it is solely because of the park conditions and not because of the hemp- or cannabis-related issues,” Falcon said.
Events include a full day of speakers, live music from local and regional bands, vendors and information about petitions and other legislative activity in Idaho. Speakers include Steve Phun, a Seattle Hempfest activist; Serra Frank, a Bosie activist and director of Boise Hempfest; and Adam Assenberg of Colfax, an activist and medical marijuana patient; among others. Music and food vendors will be outside at the fairgrounds, while craft vendors and information tables will be inside.
Musical acts include the Maple Bars of Clarkston; the regional young musicians’ collaboration, Palouse Project; Andru Gomez and the Bad Apples of Moscow; Naughty Pine, a Pasco reggae band; and the Spokane rock band Mojo Box. The Lunar Clan Belly Dancers of Lewiston also will perform.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: 23rd Annual Moscow Hemp Fest
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 6
WHERE: Latah County Fairgrounds, 1021 Harold St., Moscow