U.S. Attorney for West Virginia sues hemp farmer

October 15, 2018

Both the Charleston (West Virginia) Gazette and the US News and World Report published articles based on AP reports about a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Attorney against a West Virginia hemp farmer.

During the session on hemp at the 2018 ERC annual meeting in Rye Brook, New York, Rusty Rumley from the National Agricultural Law Center reminded participants that hemp, which is cannabis, is still an illegal crop on the federal controlled substance list. Since the meeting last August, the U.S. Attorney General has retracted the Cole Memorandum that was issued during the previous administration. The Cole Memorandum essentially declared that the U.S. Department of Justice would not pursue criminal charges related to the growing and/or processing of cannabis.

Reading the headline of the AP article, one is led to believe that the U.S. Attorney is suing a hemp farmer for hemp-related production. However, on reading further, one sees that the farmer is being charged with growing marijuana. Additional charges concern the source of the hemp seeds the farmer has used in his hemp production, and that the farmer was not abiding by the state regulations for the growing hemp. Specifically, there was no fence around the plot, nor was there the required signage.

man with cap and hand raised nearly hidden in hemp field

"August 8, 2005 - Hemp Field" by CSLP is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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