A judge recently dismissed a federal lawsuit filed against a hemp farm in West Virginia. According to the report, the ruling was issued last week in a case that was filed against the Mason County Farm, which is based in West Virginia.
US Attorney Mike Stuart filed the case and claimed that the farmers violated the Federal Controlled Substance Act. It’s because they bought seeds from Kentucky instead of obtaining them internationally.
However, the judge ruled that Congress passed the bill right before the seeds were shipped. He also made it clear that lawmakers don’t want enforcement agencies to interfere with industrial hemp. Quite simply, industrial hemp is not considered a controlled substance based on the Controlled Substance Act.
Derived from Cannabis Sativa
Both marijuana and hemp are derived from cannabis. Under the law of West Virginia, hemp should only comprise less than 1% of THC. This is the psychoactive component from marijuana responsible for making users high. Unlike marijuana, which usually contains a high level of THC, hemp is safe for consumption. In fact, it can be used in making a lot of products, including textiles, fabrics, supplements etc.
Ever since the case was filed in September 2018, the chips are now in favor of the farmers. First of all, Chambers have lifted an initial order that would block the farmers from harvesting and treating their crops. In December, Congress decided to fully legalize hemp, which used to be legal only under a pilot program.
When Stuart alleged that the crops violated the threshold level for THC, the crops tested below 0.3%, which means that it’s not considered illegal.
Praising the Decision
One of the attorneys who represented the farmers praised the decision of the judge. The court totally rejected the entire case and they concluded that industrial hemp shouldn’t be considered a controlled substance. Furthermore, the court rejected the government’s misguided efforts into injecting itself to the areas of oversight that the Congress has reserved for the state.
But the case is now over unless Stuart decides to appeal. Aside from affirming the right of the farmers to grow hemp before and after the 2018 Bill was passed, the Chambers said that regulatory oversight should belong under the state’s Dept. of Agriculture and not in the office of the US Attorney.
Revoking the Permit to Grow Hemp
Stuart allegedly requested the Dept. of Agriculture a week before filing a lawsuit to revoke the farm’s permit to cultivate hemp. Through a letter written by the assistant commissioner of the Dept. of Agriculture, they rejected such request stating that inaccuracies don’t warrant revocation of the permit. Furthermore, the department gave them a chance to correct such inaccuracies. Stuart filed the case on the same day that the Dept. of Agriculture set the letter. Although the US District Attorneys believe that the farmers have committed material violations of the state’s pilot program, the WVDA didn’t see it as such.