A Minnesota hemp delivery driver has been charged with cannabis possession in South Dakota after being pulled over for speeding while delivering 300 pounds of hemp from a cultivator in Colorado to a processor in Minnesota, the Argus Leader reports. According to the Minnesota Hemp Industry Association, the cargo was valued at $22,500.
Association Executive Director Joe Radinovich, a former Minnesota legislator, said the case highlights the need for consistent state laws regarding hemp even though the crop was legalized federally last year.
“A Minnesota Hemp Association member expected a shipment of legally grown hemp. Instead, their driver was arrested and their hemp was confiscated in a state that isn’t complying with the Farm Bill and allowing hemp to be transported.” – Radinovich, to the Leader
South Dakota passed its own hemp legalization law last year and in May the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a memo explicitly allowing hemp to be transported across state lines if it complies with a state-approved program.
“States and Indian tribes may not prohibit the interstate transportation or shipment of hemp lawfully produced under a State or Tribal plan or under a license issued under the USDA plan,” the guidance states, adding that those protections apply to hemp produced under the 2014 Farm Bill.
The driver was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. While the driver has been released, the hemp extractor company estimates with legal fees and product lost, the arrest has cost the company about $36,000.
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