BOISE – Controversy regarding Cannabidiol oil, known commonly as CBD oil, continues to grow at the Idaho Statehouse. In 2015, Gov. Butch Otter vetoed a bill that would have allowed kids with severe forms of epilepsy to be treated with CBD oil.
CBD oil is used medicinally for a range of ailments, such as epilepsy and anxiety. The oil comes from a different part of the cannabis plant and only contains trace amounts of THC.
On Monday, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee voted to keep House Bill 577 in committee, essentially killing it.
However, that vote was later nullified after committee members discussed the bill behind closed doors, a violation of the state’s Open Meeting Law. Senate rule states, “All meetings of any standing, select, or special committee shall be open to the public at all times.”
“The committee hearing got a little out of hand, but that’s been taken care of, yes, I’ve apologized,” said Senate Health and Welfare Chairman Sen. Lee Heider, R-Twin Falls. “They’ve been declared null and void.”
Currently, the CBD oil bill remains in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee with no hearing in sight.
When asked if the bill could ever see movement again, Heider replied, “I won’t promise one way or the other. Presently, I’m holding it in my committee.”
Heider added the disappointing news that the governor, Idaho Office of Drug Policy, and Idaho law enforcement are against the bill.
However, Sen. Tony Potts, R-Idaho Falls, says many Idahoans want this bill to pass: “I think the point was made that people want to hear this bill and so it deserves to be heard. I think that point was made,” said Potts. “We’re here to represent people and we as legislators, hopefully, we can remember that.”
Heider says he’s received countless emails and phone calls about the bill and feels he’s heard those people.
“I get phone calls every day. I get emails by the hundreds. I’m not being facetious. When I came in this morning I had 285 emails relative to this issue. So, I know it’s out there,” said Heider.