National shipments of hemp and its byproducts will march on, even if some businesses take extra care in the wake of a surprising court ruling delaying the return of roughly 7,000 pounds of hemp in police custody in Idaho, industry members and attorneys say.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to order Idaho to return the hemp biomass to Big Sky Scientific of Aurora, Colorado, which was having the hemp trucked from Oregon when police seized it as suspected marijuana and charged the truck driver with drug crimes.
The ruling came despite a legal opinion from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) taking Big Sky’s side and arguing that the 2018 Farm Bill’s guarantee of interstate transport for hemp should take effect right away, not after all the rules are settled for growing and shipping hemp products.
Attorneys representing hemp producers told Hemp Industry Daily that the Idaho case won’t chill the interstate commerce in hemp products such as CBD.
“This won’t affect other shipments,” said Jonathan Miller, a Kentucky-based attorney for the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, a lobbying group for the hemp industry.
“We’re hopeful that policing and law enforcement across the country will listen to USDA and allow for the interstate transportation.”
Miller pointed out that the federal appeals court didn’t side with Idaho’s argument that hemp transportation isn’t legal until the 2018 Farm Bill is fully implemented, which could take a few months.
Instead, the court simply told Big Sky to take up its claim in Idaho.
But the lack of clear guidance from a federal court means transportation confusion will continue, lawyers said.
For example, South Dakota has seized another shipment of cannabis biomass that the buyer and seller say is hemp, not marijuana.
Philadelphia attorney David Landau, who represents hemp clients, said transporters will need to be “cautious, at least in those two states.”
Full implementation of the Farm Bill could take months, he said, as states await USDA approval of their various plans for regulating the new crop and testing it to make sure it is not marijuana.
“I don’t think this decision is going to affect the hemp industry in the long term. It’s just in the short term,” Landau said.
“It’s not like the industry is not going to be ramped up for the next two years while we wait” for transportation rules, he added.
“The ramp-up, as you know, is now.”
Big Sky’s lawyers did not immediately say how the ruling affects the company’s business, though Big Sky lawyer Christopher Pooser told the court last week that cannabinoids in hemp flowers may break down over time, putting in question the current value of hemp seized in January.
Still, several hemp entrepreneurs who move the plant across state lines but aren’t involved in the Idaho case told Hemp Industry Daily that they’re undeterred by the ruling.
Because the case doesn’t affect other states, “it does not concern me,” said Bob Crumley, CEO of Founder’s Hemp of Asheboro, North Carolina, which ships hemp-derived CBD products to 21 states.
“What concerns me more is Idaho law enforcement seeking to harm legitimate farmers and processors from sister and neighboring states,” he said.
Krista Whitley, CEO of Altitude Products, a Las Vegas-based company that develops and manufactures CBD products under 11 different brands, reacted similarly to the Idaho setback.
“We are not holding off shipping hemp,” she said, “but we are certainly more cautious about the states we ship hemp through.”
The case simply underscores the need for the USDA to move swiftly in implementing the law, she added.
“Uniform federal regulations will provide states guidance and avoid damaging hemp producers and manufacturers who are making every effort to conduct a legal, professional business under the 2018 Farm Bill,” Whitley said.
The USDA originally planned to release hemp rules by August, then said the rules would be delayed in part because of testing complications. Agency officials insist that rules will be in place for the 2020 growing season.
Even after the rules are set, though, hemp businesses will still need to watch for state differences in hemp rules, said David Bush, president of the Industrial Hemp Research Foundation and a Denver attorney who advises hemp clients.
“The bigger picture on all this is that the relationship between state and federal authorities in the regulation of hemp, and protection of interstate commerce in hemp, is still very much up in the air,” Bush wrote in an email to Hemp Industry Daily.
Bush pointed out that the Farm Bill guaranteed interstate commerce for hemp while giving states broad authority to set their own hemp rules.
“It may be inevitable that we now see a clash between state and federal authorities when the 2018 Farm Bill is equivocal on exactly how far states may go in enforcing their own laws,” he added.
The confusion from a Minnesota CBD producer’s shipment being snagged in South Dakota has prompted a state hemp group to warn against moving hemp across the border until businesses have more assurance that it’s legal.
The Idaho ruling “sets a precedent that is alarming for business owners and operators working in a federally legal space,” said Joe Radinovich, head of the Minnesota Hemp Association.
Kristen Nichols can be reached at [email protected]
尽管美国农业部( USDA )以天空广播公司( Big Sky )为己任，提出2018年《农业法案》( Farm Bill )对州际运输大麻的担保应立即生效，而不是在所有大麻产品的种植和运输规则达成一致之后。
代表大麻生产商的律师告诉《血液工业日报》，爱达荷州的案件不会让州际间的大麻产品贸易如 CBD 降温。
“这不会影响其他发货，”肯塔基 Hemp Roundtable 律师乔纳森•米勒( Jonathan Miller )说。 Hemp Roundtable 是大麻行业的游说团体。
费城律师戴维•兰多( David Landau )表示，运输商需要“谨慎行事，至少在这两个州如此。”
Big Sky 的律师没有立即说明裁决对该公司业务的影响，不过 Big Sky 的律师 Christopher Pooser 上周告诉法庭，大麻花中的大麻可能会随着时间的推移而分解，这令人质疑1月份大麻缉获的当前价值。
不过，几位大麻企业家将工厂搬到了州界，但没有参与爱达荷州的案件。他们告诉《赫姆普工业日报》( Hemp Industry Daily )说，裁决没有让他们感到恐惧。
因为此案不会影响到其他州，“这与我无关，”北卡罗莱纳州 Ashebro 的创始人血液公司的首席执行官鲍勃·克鲁姆利（ BobCrumley ）说。
位于拉斯维加斯、以11个不同品牌开发和生产 CBD 产品的公司 Altude Products 的首席执行官 Krista Whitley 也对爱达荷州的挫折做出了类似的反应。
不过，工业大麻研究基金会( Industrial Hemp Research Foundation )总裁、丹佛一位为大麻客户提供咨询服务的律师戴维?布什( David Bush )表示，即便制定了相关规定，大麻行业仍需要关注各州在大麻法规方面的差异。
布什在写给《赫普工业日报》( Hemp Industry Daily )的一封电子邮件中写道：“更大的情况是，州政府和联邦政府在大麻管制和保护州际商业方面的关系仍在空气中非常活跃。”
“我们现在可能不可避免地看到州政府和联邦政府之间的冲突，因为2018年的《农业法案》( Farm Bill )对各州执行自己的法律的具体程度并不明确，”他补充道。
明尼苏达州一家 CBD 生产商在南达科他州被抢走的货物所造成的混乱，促使一个州大麻组织警告不要将大麻转移到边境，直到企业有更多的保证说大麻是合法的。
爱达荷州的裁决“为在联邦法律空间工作的企业主和运营商树立了一个令人震惊的先例，”明尼苏达大麻协会( Minnesota Hemp Association )会长乔•拉迪诺维奇( Joe Radinovich )表示。