A committee of the Idaho State Assembly has approved funding so that the state police can buy the equipment needed to test whether a given plant is industrial hemp or marijuana. This plan comes after the police seized a semitrailer carrying what the arresting officer thought was marijuana while the driver and his employer insisted that the consignment contained hemp.
The owner of the cargo, Big Sky Scientific, tried to get a court order to compel the police to release the cargo since it was deteriorating rapidly as the police continues with its investigations. The company argued that it was now legal to grow hemp and transport it across state lines from the time President Trump signed the Farm Bill 2018 into law.
However, court declined to issue the court order since the state didn’t have a law prescribing how hemp could be grown. Furthermore, the court could not be certain that Big Sky Scientific had grown its “hemp” in accordance with the Farm Act 2018.
This case has captured headlines within and outside Idaho because it serves as an eye-opener of the kind of situations that law enforcement agencies are likely to face now that hemp is legal while marijuana remains illegal at the federal level.
This confusion is likely to arise because there is no difference in the physical characteristics of hemp and cannabis. It is therefore possible for someone to attempt to transport cannabis across state borders while passing it off as hemp. It is also likely that hemp cultivators will face a lot of inconveniences as they jump through hoops to prove that what they are cultivating or transporting isn’t marijuana.
The procurement of the testing equipment was initiated by some lawmakers (not the police department) who felt that it was unsustainable to keep sending samples to Kentucky each time a seizure or arrest was made by the police. The argument of the lawmakers makes sense, because Big Sky Scientific stands to lose its cargo due to the delays created by having to conduct tests outside the state yet the crop is highly perishable and cannot retain its quality while the legal issues are sorted out.
For now, the entire Assembly has to approve the $240,000 funding request before the spending proposals go to the state Senate for approval. Only then can the money be released to procure and install the testing equipment in the police testing facility. Plus Products Inc. (CSE: PLUS) (OTCQB: PLPRF) and Redfund Capital Corp. (CSE: LOAN) (OTC: PNNRF) (Frankfurt: O3X4) call for the speedy procurement of the testing equipment so that additional problems can be avoided later on.
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