Oregon truck driver Denis Palamarchuk, 36, of Portland, Oregon, is in the midst of a state / federal battle over whether the "industrial hemp" he brought from Oregon to Idaho and Colorado was illegal.
The Idaho Press reports that Palamarchuk was arrested with hemp tax at East Boise, Idaho Point-of-Entry on 24 January, and had a legal bill of lading for this.
Hemp and marijuana are different parts of the same plant and the recently adopted federal Farm Bill prohibits states to prevent the transport of hemp that is used in cosmetics, dietary supplements and other products. Meanwhile, the company belongs to Colorado, the hemp, to reclaim the confiscated shipment from Idaho and quotes the Farm Bill in a lawsuit filed against the state.
The Idaho police seized 6,701 pounds of hemp, which tested positive for THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. A news account reported that drug dogs were aware of the hemp.
The problem stems from the fact that in Idaho every amount of THC, the part of the pot that makes you high, is illegal.
Consequently, the Ada County Public Prosecutor's office claiming that hemp transported by Idaho is illegal and that the seizure was lawful.
Hemp, although it is not a registered substance, contains traces of THC but not enough to produce a high. According to federal regulations, hemp must contain 0.3 percent or less THC.
The Idaho police said that the seized hemp is tested in a laboratory that is independent of their office, but does not specify which laboratory performs the tests. If the substance contains more than 0.3 percent THC, it would not meet the federal definition of hemp.
Big Sky Scientific, the Colorado company that was the intended recipient of the hemp, filed a lawsuit against the Idaho police, and documented in court documents that the consignment is industrial hemp containing less than 0.3 percent THC.
"Big Sky has a legally protectable interest in the current controversy because it has legal ownership and the property is federally protected according to the Farm Bill of 2018," the complaint said.
The Farm Bill, which was updated in December, says: "No tribe of the state or the Indians may transport or dispatch hemp or hemp products produced in accordance with Subtitle G of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (such as added by section 10113) the state or territory of the Indian tribe, as the case may be, "in box 10114, item B.
Elijah Watkins, a lawyer representing Big Sky, told Idaho Press that Idaho does not have the right to stop a company in one state to obtain a legal good from another.
"I think that, regardless of the Farm Bill, it is still a legitimate good," he said.
But according to Idaho law, all types of cannabis, regardless of sex, including low-THC hemp plants, are illegal.
Ada County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Scott Bandy said that hemp dumpers are not free from prosecution because of Idaho's law that makes hemp illegal. Bandy would not comment further, as the state police office is faced with disputes, the Press reported.
Meanwhile, VIP Transportation, the Portland-based trucking company that transported the substance, defends the legality of the shipment.
"We are 100 percent sure that this will be resolved because we have not violated any law," Ivan Pavliy, owner of VIP Transportation, told the newspaper earlier.
Pavliy said it was the third batch hemp of the company when Palamarchuk was arrested. It is unclear if the company had previously pulled hemp from Idaho because it serves 48 states.
"If the right climate and airflow are not maintained, the product will" form, "according to the court document." If that happens, the product will be worthless and Big Sky will not only have the estimated value of $ 1.3 million. of the isolates of his industrial hemp shipment, but also the chance to be one of the first newcomers on the new congressionally-created industrial hemp market. "
According to the document, the hemp was transported from the Boones Ferry Berry Farm, an industrial hemp grower with a permit in the state of Oregon. In addition, the hemp grown on the farm was tested by two different state-certified laboratories to certify that the THC content complied with federal standards, according to an attached memorandum.
Ada County Prosecutor, Jan Bennetts, responded to Big Sky in a document filed with the District Court stating that, regardless of whether the product meets the federal standards for hemp, it is still illegal in the state of Idaho, causing the seizure lawful.
With reference to Idaho's law, Bennetts refused to respond to the emergency call for a provisional measure.
While the production and possession of hemp and marijuana are still illegal in Idaho, the legislature of the state can change the position of the state on hemp.
State Representative Caroline Nilsson Troy, R-Genesee, intends to submit a bill shortly to legalize hemp in Idaho, which she said would give farmers in Idaho an option to grow a versatile and potentially lucrative crop.
Meanwhile, according to truck owner Brad Klepper, driver Palamarchuk is faced with marijuana smuggling costs.
Klepper said that if Palamarchuk is found guilty, he can risk up to five years in prison and a fine of $ 15,000.
In April 2018 the Idaho police arrested Andrew D & # 39; Addario, 27, from Colorado, and Erich Eisenhart, 25, from Oregon, for collecting hemp plants through Idaho.