U.S. attorney for West Virginia sues hemp farmer
Both the Charleston (WV) Gazette and the US News and World Report published an article based on and quoting the same article originally published by the AP. The article reports on the lawsuit brought by the U.S. Attorney against a West Virginia hemp farmer.
During the Hemp breakout session at the ERC Annual Meeting in Rye Brook, New York, Rusty Rumley, JD, from the National Agricultural Law Center, reminded the participants that hemp — which is cannabis — is still an illegal crop on the federal controlled substance list. Since the committee met in August, the U.S. attorney general has recalled the Cole Memorandum that was issued during the previous administration. The Cole Memorandum basically declared that the Department of Justice would not pursue criminal charges related to the growing and/or processing of cannabis. The Trump administration has now retracted the Cole Memorandum.
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 the fact 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.