Pennsylvania Vape Shop Sues County After Hemp-Derived Cannabis Products Seized Without Warrant

A vape shop in Lancaster, Pennsylvania is suing the district attorney and other law enforcement officials, claiming that they conducted a warrantless search of the business and wrongfully seized legal hemp-derived THC products.

Full story after the jump.

A Lancaster, Pennsylvania vape shop is suing the district attorney and other law enforcement officials claiming they searched the business without a warrant and seized legal hemp-derived THC products, FOX43 reports. The lawsuit by Smooth Vape, LLC names District Attorney Heather Adams, a lieutenant with the Lancaster County Drug Task Force (LCDTF), three unnamed members of the LCDTF, and Lancaster County itself. 

The lawsuit alleges that Adams ordered the LCDTF to carry out raids on smoke shops and vape shops and that four members of the LCDTF entered the Smooth Vape shop and produced a memo – not a search warrant – from Adams declaring that the officers would be seizing “all products in plain view labeled or advertised as containing Delta-8 THC or Delta-10 THC.” 

Employees claim the officers gave them the option to either surrender to the search and seizure or have the shop shut down. Jerad Najvar, an attorney representing Smooth Vape, told FOX43 that the raid “came as a complete surprise” to his client. 

“These products are expressly recognized as legal under Pennsylvania law. For years these products have been sold openly.” — Najvar to FOX43 

In all, the LCDTF seized tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise from the store which resulted in a huge loss for the business owner. The lawsuit is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for violations of the plaintiff’s constitutional rights; a declaratory judgment that hemp-derived cannabis products that contain no more than 0.3% delta-9 THC, including products without any delta-9 THC, are not subject to enforcement under the Pennsylvania Controlled Substance Act; reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs; and any other relief that the court deems just and appropriate, the report says. 

The enforcement action was announced by the LCDTF in June and agents ultimately seized nearly $300,000 worth of product from 25 stores throughout Lancaster County. 

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