Idaho residents are planning a rally for September 24 to fight a proposed ban on CBD for pets, reports Idaho News Channel 2.
The Idaho State Department of Agriculture announced in late July that stores must stop selling hemp products for pets, including CBD, by November 1.
"Safe levels of hemp and hemp-derived products in animal feed have not yet been established under federal or state law,” ISDA wrote. “As such, these products are not approved feed ingredients and cannot lawfully be added to or incorporated into commercial feed. This includes feeds, treats and remedies intended for pets, livestock, or any other animal.”
“These products are not approved feed ingredients and cannot lawfully be added to or incorporated into commercial feed. This includes feeds, treats and remedies intended for pets, livestock, or any other animal.”
— Idaho State Department of Agriculture
In the news release, the ISDA noted it was aware retailers have been selling products with hemp-derived ingredients under the assumption that they’re allowed in the state.
“These products are not legal in Idaho,” the announcement reads, “and if found on or after November 1, 2022, will be subject to a stop sale and further action from the department.”
One of those retailers is Jennifer Willett, owner of Bark N' Purr pet supply, who’s been selling CBD for pets for five years.
"We have had people in the store crying," Willett told Idaho News. "We have had testimonials on social media. We have had phone calls. Just people saying, ‘What do I do now?’”
One of those customers is Logan Newhall, a regular at the Boise pet shop who gives her dogs CBD products every day.
"I'm just angry and frustrated more than anything and very sad and concerned for what it could mean for my pets and future pets I could have living in Idaho," Newhall told the news station.
Willett started a petition on change.org to try and convince Idaho Governor Brad Little to delay enforcement of the rule, giving legislators time to change it permanently.
“This decision will likely harm animals whose owners will no longer be able to access the products their pets rely on for a variety of health and wellness reasons,” the petition reads. “It will also have a serious economic impact on Idaho businesses that manufacture and sell these products.”
“We have had people in the store crying We have had testimonials on social media. We have had phone calls. Just people saying, ‘What do I do now?’”
— Jennifer Willett, Owner, Bark N' Purr
Chanel Tewalt, deputy director of Idaho State of Agriculture, told Idaho News the products are considered “adulterated,” and are a concern because the range of distribution is growing.
“There are more and more of them, and I think it's very easy to see in the same way you've seen the growth of the CBD industry in general. In Idaho, it looks very different than it did just a couple of years ago," Tewalt said.
Willett doesn’t believe the ban will stop customers who believe CBD helps their pets. Instead, she says, they’ll buy them illegally.
“Removing CBD pet products from the marketplace paves the way for a black-market industry of unscrupulous suppliers selling questionable products that could end up harming animals,” Willett’s change.org petition reads. “It may also lead to pet owners turning to human products that aren't formulated for pets or marijuana products that contain high levels of THC.”
In contrast, Willett said, the products at her store are 0.0% THC and third-party tested for quality.
"We are asking the governor to please put a pause on this,” Willett told Idaho News. “If he could just wait until our legislation opens up in 2023, we can have an actual discussion and maybe work within the ISDA to somehow come to a mutual agreement.”