New York Police Seize 106 Lbs of Hemp, Claim It’s A Cannabis Bust

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Farmers all over the country are excitedly investing in industrial hemp, but some of them have found it’s more of a heartache and expense than they anticipated.

One of the reasons officials have given for opposing the legalization of industrial hemp is that law enforcement officers can’t seem to tell the difference between industrial hemp crops and cannabis with enough THC to actually be psychoactive. Now, with more states rolling out hemp programs and the federal government having officially ended its prohibition on hemp farming, this issue may soon become front-page news in a town near you.

Most recently, police in New York confiscated a large shipment of cannabis from FedEx and posted to Twitter to brag about the seizure of 106 pounds of cannabis. Law enforcement officers claimed that the product was smokable cannabis destined for illegal sale on the unregulated market, but all evidence points to the contrary.

Fox Holler Farms is a federally- and state-compliant industrial hemp farm in Vermont. They shipped an order to Brooklyn using FedEx as the delivery method. However, Federal Express staff decided to report the suspicious-smelling packages to New York law enforcement agencies, who then preemptively seized the cannabis under the assumption that it was illegal.

The man who accepted the shipment on behalf of his brother who runs a CBD company was arrested and charged, although New York prosecutors will likely drop the charges at the upcoming December 2nd hearing for the case. They are still holding the cannabis, although documentation so far makes it relatively clear that what they have is federally compliant hemp.

Fox Holler Farms puts the value of the hemp seized at about $17,500. The recipient, Oren Levy, is dealing with a traumatized brother and the potential loss of supplies that could have helped him produce up to $50,000 worth of CBD products.

Despite their every effort to follow the law, these well-intentioned farmers or the CBD entrepreneur buying their crop may have to take a massive loss because of the ignorance of delivery workers and law enforcement.

Hemp farmers who can prove with valid documentation that their crops were grown and tested in compliance with federal hemp farming regulations should not have to worry about uneducated police officers or shipping employees flagging their products as potentially illegal. Clearly, before officers announced their so-called bust, the cannabis they seized should have received adequate testing to verify it had illegal levels of THC.

For previous Ladybud articles about hemp, click here.