A company has sued the Idaho State Police after they seized a truck containing almost 7,000 lbs. of cannabis. According to the Idaho Statesman, the product that the authorities seized was marijuana. However, according to the owner of the products, Big Sky Scientific LLC, those products are actually industrial hemp.
Hemp is Not Illegal
Hemp may be a close cousin of marijuana but it’s considered non-psychoactive since it only contains an extremely small amount of THC. In fact, hemp is protected under the 2018 Farm Bill that has been recently approved.
Prior to the 2018 Farm Bill, the Federal Law had banned the cultivation of hemp. However, the 2014 Farm Bill allows for each individual state to pass the legalization of hemp. As a result, there are about 38 states that have moved for the legalization of hemp including Oregon. The 2018 Farm Bill has lifted the barriers to the production of commercial hemp, a plant that can be used in making a wide range of products such as construction materials and rope.
The Sample of the Product is Being Tested
Meanwhile, the Idaho Police has sent samples of the product that was obtained from the truck to a lab. The product will be tested in order to determine if it’s, indeed, industrial hemp. Officials have arrested the 36-year old driver of the truck and he was charged with a felony. According to the driver, he’s from Oregon and was on his way to Colorado to deliver the shipment. The driver was stopped in January 24 as part of the Idaho Police official’s routine check, where they randomly check commercial vehicles.
The vehicle’s bill of lading, a document that contains information about the cargo shipment, stated that the truck was carrying bags of hemp. Marijuana and hemp plants have almost the same smell and look. However, hemp plants contain an extremely small amount of the psychoactive chemical THC. While hemp has less than 0.3% of THC, marijuana contains 15-40 percent of the chemical.
The plants have different uses. While hemp is used in making a wide variety of commercial products, marijuana is valued due to its THC content and is legal in certain states in the US, like Colorado, California, Washington, and Oregon. However, it’s still illegal in Idaho.
Big Sky Needs the Product Back
Big Sky Scientific LLC, the company behind the cargo shipment, is now suing the Idaho State Police. They want the products returned and have asked the officials to admit their wrongdoing. However, the Idaho officials believe that what they did was right. They detected a strong smell of marijuana from the truck during the inspection so they asked for the bags to be opened. The officers conducted a field test and the test showed that the product had THC content although it didn’t indicate the amount of THC. According to them, transporting any product that contains any amount of THC is a chargeable offense in the state.