Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Tuesday, December 18, 2018  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Day
48° Partly Cloudy Day

Eye On Boise

Little on CBD oil: ‘It’s got to be quality-controlled’

Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little presides over the Idaho Senate on Tuesday evening, March 6, 2018 (The Spokesman-Review / Betsy Z. Russell)
Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little presides over the Idaho Senate on Tuesday evening, March 6, 2018 (The Spokesman-Review / Betsy Z. Russell)

Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little, asked this evening about the brouhaha over the House-passed CBD oil bill that hasn’t had a hearing in the Senate, said, “Every bill that’s in every single committee chair’s office is subject to a call – that’s the rules.” As president of the Senate, he noted, “I’m in charge of enforcing the rules, and if somebody calls a bill from committee, I’ll preside over that. We have to comply with the rules, and we do.”

Of the impromptu closed-door meeting that Senate Health & Welfare Chairman Lee Heider called yesterday on the bill, Little said, “Obviously it was a circumvention. … I’m glad that Lee ‘fessed up to it.”

Little said he hasn’t yet read HB 577, the bill in question, but has long been a supporter of the drug trial through which more than 30 Idaho children have been receiving a commercial form of CBD oil through an “expanded access” program to treat intractable epilepsy. “I am incredibly sympathetic to those parents that have got epileptic children,” Little said. “My hope was that the cost of this would come down, and that there would be quality-controlled CBD oil. … I am not in any way, shape or form an opponent of quality-controlled CBD oil.”

However, Little said he has heard concerns from law enforcement about a “slippery slope” if uncontrolled CBD oil sales are allowed, including that it could “act as a cover for medical marijuana to expand to a higher level,” or that “people with nefarious intentions could get around drug dogs and use something like this as cover.”

When House committee members debated the bill, many said they were concerned that the commercial version of CBD oil, once approved, would be far too expensive for most Idahoans to afford. “If the cost of it is too high, then it’s not available,” Little said. “I was hopeful … the cost would come down.” He added, “It’s got to be quality-controlled, that’s the issue.”



Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

Follow Betsy online: