Hemp companies and their drivers who are transporting hemp from one state to another through US highways are still confused about the laws and regulations surrounding legal hemp. Even though the Federal Law has declared hemp legal after the approval of the 2018 Farm Bill, the situation is still chaotic in some conservative states. For instance, in Idaho, hemp is still considered illegal. Thus, drivers are still being arrested and shipments are being confiscated due to the confusion between the state and federal laws.
Hemp’s Colorful History
For thousands of years, humans have been using hemp for fuel, food, and fiber. It’s used mostly in making rope and for other industrial purposes. But because it’s considered a close cousin of cannabis, hemp was declared illegal in the 1930s and state laws have also mirrored the prohibition.
But after the approval of the 2018 Farm Bill last year, the views on hemp have now changed. Farmers in various states can now cultivate hemp not only for use as rope but also for food and supplements. Hemp has been found to contain a good amount of CBD or Cannabidiol, a compound that’s effective in treating inflammation, seizures, and several other disorders. But although the prohibition on hemp has now been lifted at a federal level, confusion is still there, especially at the federal agencies.
Illegal in Some Red States
The law enforcement in the state and national level has opposing laws on hemp, which has just made the situation even more complicated. Usually, state law enforcement has to adhere to the laws of the state in favor of the national laws, but these laws vary from one state to another.
There have been recent reports that police has seized major shipments of hemp that passed through the highways of Tennessee, Idaho, and Oklahoma. In Idaho, for instance, state police confiscated a shipment of more than 6,000 pounds of hemp in January. The shipment was on its way to Colorado and it came from a company based in Oregon.
The owner of the shipment was Big Sky Scientific and bought the products from a licensed farm in Oregon. When the police seized the shipment, the company sued the law enforcement in order to get their shipment back. Unfortunately, the company lost the case because the judge ruled in favor of the Idaho police. The judge believes that the state police must abide by the rules of the state. Since THC is illegal in Idaho, they just made the right decision to confiscate the shipment.
There are still burning questions that arise on why some states in the US are still hesitant to legalize hemp despite the implementation of the Farm Bill. Some advocates find the desynchronized law very frustrating.
Hemp may be a close cousin of cannabis, but it doesn’t have any psychoactive component. In fact, it has been considered a useful substance since the early 1930s. And now that the time has come to legalize it once again, some other states have gone on to the back foot.