South Dakota Grand Jury Indicts Hemp Transporter

A hemp delivery driver from Colorado was indicted in South Dakota on charges of cannabis possession and intent to distribute; the driver faces a potential prison sentence of up to 15 years if convicted.

Full story after the jump.

A grand jury in Jackson County, South Dakota has indicted a Colorado man who was arrested in the state while delivering hemp to Minnesota, the Denver Post reports. Robert Herzberg was arrested July 16 following a stop for speeding after a state trooper found “two large white sacks that contained a green leafy substance that looked and smelled like raw marijuana,” according to the report.

Herzberg was delivering 300 pounds of flower and samples field-tested positive for THC. Six other plant samples tested by the state laboratory contained more THC than allowed under federal law with maximum THC levels ranging from .31 to .51 percent and Delta 9-THC levels from .18 to .25 percent.

The Colorado man who hired Herzberg to make the delivery to a CBD processing company in Minnesota and the Minnesota Hemp Association both maintain that the products were legal under federal law. Herzberg is charged with intent to distribute and possessing more than 10 pounds of marijuana, which could lead to 15 years in prison if convicted. He is also charged with cocaine and marijuana ingestion charges which carry five and one-year sentences, respectively, Rapid City Journal reports.

Matthew Kinney, Herzberg’s defense attorney, said he plans to call on experts who can explain the reliability of THC testing, whether the amount of THC in a plant can increase over time, and would force prosecutors to prove that his client knew the bags contained cannabis.

“You can’t get high from this stuff. It would be unlike any other case that is usually before the courts for trying to distribute street marijuana.” – Kinney, to the Journal

In May the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a memo that explicitly allows hemp shipments to cross state lines even in states that prohibit hemp cultivation. Last session, Republican Gov. Kristi Noem vetoed a bill to legalize hemp and followed it up with an op-ed in the Argus Leader arguing that the reforms would legalize cannabis “by default.”

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