How to Get a CBD License in Idaho & Start Your Business‌

Read Time: 6 min

A CBD leaf with chemical breakdown symbol getting ready for a CBD license in Idaho.

Cannabis and hemp products are subject to varying legality and regulations across all 50 states. Compared to other states, Idaho has one of the strictest policies in the nation. Idaho is one of only five states that doesn’t allow the sale of marijuana in any capacity, including for medical purposes.[1]World Population Review. “Medical Marijuana States [Updated March 2023]”. Accessed on March 7th, 2024. Their laws regarding CBD are similarly strict, necessitating a CBD license in Idaho for lawful distribution.

To create a business that operates within the CBD industry in Idaho, you’ll want to be well-versed in the rules and regulations to which you’ll be subject. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of starting a CBD business in Idaho up to the point of receiving your CBD license. Let’s dive in.

How to Start a CBD Business in Idaho

Starting a CBD business in Idaho starts the same as any other business in the state: you’ll need to register as a legal business entity. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Choose a business name and structure.
  2. Register your business with the state. Next, you’ll want to register your business name and structure with the Idaho Secretary of State.
  3. Register with state agencies. Since your CBD business will most likely have employees and retail sales, you must register with the Idaho State Tax Commission, Idaho Industrial Commission, and Idaho Department of Labor using this form.
  4. Apply for relevant business licenses.

How to Get a CBD License in Idaho

Thankfully, the state of Idaho makes the application process for handling CBD fairly simple. To get a CBD license in Idaho, you’ll need to follow these steps:

A document with a green checklist.

CBD License Application Requirements for Idaho

Before we dive in, it’s important to mention that there are two types of CBD licenses in Idaho: handlers and producers. In this article, we’re focused on handlers (including retailers) who do not grow hemp themselves. 

There are additional requirements for producers available for you here.

Before applying:

  • Get a Background Check. To satisfy this requirement, you’ll need a current (not more than sixty days before application submission) Idaho State Police or FBI fingerprint-based background check.
  • Identify and Gather Key Participants. Next, you’ll need to gather the contact information and background checks for each key participant in your business.
  • Gather Lot or Facility Information. Finally, to prepare for the application, you’ll need to create and label/annotate maps with lot or facility information that you’ll upload with your application. You should use a reputable map program like Google Maps, MapQuest, etc., and make sure the map shows at least one nearby road, the entrance to the facility, and highlights hemp processing or handling locations.

With the above information gathered, you’re ready to apply. You can process your application through an online portal, where you’ll upload the above information and receive an invoice to pay the application fee ($100 as of the time of writing).

Once your application has been submitted, you’ll either receive approval or denial. 

  • Application Approval. The state agricultural department will notify you when the application has been approved. Once you receive notice of license application approval, you will receive an invoice to pay the appropriate license fees (this is in addition to the application fee we mentioned above). Upon receipt of the license fee payment, they will issue the license.
  • Application Denial. If your application has been denied, you will receive notice of denial. Upon notification of the license application denial, you can contact ISDA for additional information.

Your business will then be subject to an annual inspection, which usually includes sampling products to comply with the above regulations (including labeling requirements and a 0.00% THC consistency).

Laws & Regulations for Selling CBD in Idaho

People using CBD tincture dropper on giant brain after getting an Idaho CBD license

In 2018, the U.S. Farm Bill (also known as the U.S. Agricultural Act) became law. This law legalized commercial cultivation and use of hemp-derived, low-THC (less than 0.3% THC) cannabidiol (CBD) federally.

Idaho, however, created its own rules. Instead of low-THC hemp-derived CBD, there is only one type of legal CBD in the state. This is hemp-derived CBD isolate – in other words – CBD completely devoid of all THC (0.00% THC).[2]Zebra CBD. “Is CBD Legal in Idaho? CBD Laws 2023 – Zebra CBD”.Accessed on March 7th 2024

Here are the main regulations regarding CBD in the state of Idaho:

  • Concentration. According to the Idaho Office of Drug Policy, you can only legally sell CBD in Idaho that contains zero THC.[3]Idaho Legislature. “Idaho Code §37-2705”. Accessed on March 7th, 2024. The federal government allows up to 0.3% THC concentration, but even that trace amount is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance in Idaho law.

    Note: Patients with a prescription for the FDA-approved drug Epidiolex are exempt from this law.
  • Production materials. According to Idaho law, the CBD product should come from the mature stalks of the plant (a restriction on production materials that most states don’t have).[4]CFAH.org “Is CBD Legal in Idaho? ID Hemp Laws (2023)”. Accessed on March 7th, 2024.
  • Labeling. Because of the 2018 Farm Bill, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the marketing of CBD products at the federal level. This regulation dictates that you cannot sell CBD as a dietary supplement, integrated into food or drinks, or make therapeutic claims on product packaging.[5]Zebra CBD. “Is CBD Legal in Idaho? CBD Laws 2023 – Zebra CBD”.Accessed on March 7th, 2024.

    In Idaho, you must also label your CBD as THC-free (0.00% THC).

How to Renew Your CBD License in Idaho

To renew your CBD license in Idaho, you’ll need to log into the state portal each year at the start of the new year (licenses are only valid until December 31 of the year of issuance, regardless of the issue date). You will need to pay another application fee, but they store most of your application information in the server and can pre-populate it for you.

Start Selling CBD in Idaho

Now that you understand the steps for obtaining a CBD license in Idaho and you’re ready to start your business, it’s time to start selling.

You’ll need a high-risk CBD merchant account in order to accept non-cash payments from your customers using debit or credit cards. A high-risk CBD merchant account provider will be familiar with the ins and outs of the CBD business and can help you get started on the right foot.

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Idaho CBD License: FAQs

Thanks to the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill, CBD is legal in all 50 states. Idaho has created additional restrictions within the state, meaning that CBD is only legal in Idaho as long as it is completely THC-free. In contrast, federally, a CBD product can contain a trace of 0.3% THC and still be legally labeled as CBD.

How much does a CBD license cost in Idaho?

You’ll need to pay the $100 application fee annually to renew your license yearly. Depending on your license type, there is also a $500 annual registration fee and an inspection fee (ranging from $200-$1000 per lot, plus $35 per hour of travel to the site).

Can you sell CBD without a license in Idaho?

No. You may not legally sell CBD in Idaho without a license.

How long is a CBD license valid in Idaho?

A CBD license is valid until the end of the year in which it’s issued. For example, a license issued on January 1st will be good until the 31st of December of the same year, giving you a 12-month validity period. However, a license issued on December 1 is still valid until the 31st of December of that same year, giving you a one-month validity period.

Article Sources

  1. World Population Review. “Medical Marijuana States [Updated March 2023]”. Accessed on March 7th, 2024.
  2. Zebra CBD. “Is CBD Legal in Idaho? CBD Laws 2023 – Zebra CBD”.Accessed on March 7th 2024
  3. Idaho Legislature. “Idaho Code §37-2705”. Accessed on March 7th, 2024.
  4. CFAH.org “Is CBD Legal in Idaho? ID Hemp Laws (2023)”. Accessed on March 7th, 2024.
  5. Zebra CBD. “Is CBD Legal in Idaho? CBD Laws 2023 – Zebra CBD”.Accessed on March 7th, 2024.

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