The high-profile hemp seizures have the booming CBD industry wondering how much they can trust the Farm Bill’s guarantee that “no state or Indian tribe shall prohibit the transportation or shipment of hemp or hemp products.”
Massive police seizures in Idaho and Oklahoma raised questions about how state and local law enforcement are supposed to tell the difference between hemp and marijuana.
Since the Farm Bill passed:
- Four men working for a hemp-transportation company, Patriot Shield National Transport, were stopped in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, for running a red light. All four were charged with drug crimes for allegedly carrying some 18,000 pounds of Kentucky cannabis destined for Panacea Life Sciences, a CBD manufacturer in Louisville, Colorado. The men said they were carrying legal hemp; federal drug authorities say the plants had too much THC to be considered hemp and not marijuana.
- An Oregon truck driver was arrested in Boise, Idaho, for carrying roughly 6,700 pounds of cannabis from Oregon to Big Sky Scientific, a CBD manufacturer in Aurora, Colorado.
The cases suggest that local and state law enforcement don’t understand that interstate commerce is legal now for the plant.
“They’re paying attorney’s fees for something that was settled in federal law,” Watkins said. “They have contracts to fulfill. This is a burgeoning market.”
Patriot Shield’s Dickinson said its hemp-shipping business
has gone ice cold while folks await an Oklahoma resolution.
“Any local law enforcement can mess with any hemp shipment and delay it until the hemp is destroyed,” he noted.
Some CBD companies say they’re sticking within state borders to guard against improper police seizures.
Michael Falcone, CEO of Southern Tier Hemp in Binghamton, New York, said his company plans to extract only hemp grown in his state.
Keeping the hemp local saves money and gives law enforcement time to figure out hemp-transportation laws in the Farm Bill, he said.
“The issue we are all facing right now is that this is so new,” Falcone said. “A regulatory framework is being built as we speak.”
Published February 6, 2019 | By
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