The legal office of the US Dept of Agriculture gave a red light to the Pawhuska Police dept. and District Attorney Mike Fisher. At the same time, the state of Colorado and the medical company who purchased the truckload of industrial hemp got a green light to file a federal lawsuit against the state of Oklahoma and the city of Pawhuska for the actions of the local police, last January. District Attorney Mike Fisher (just sworn in on January 1st) is seeking a life sentence for 2 of the 4 members of the trucking entourage.
Fisher believes his confiscated payload is not legal industrial hemp because some preliminary field tests could not guarantee that it's THC content is limited to 0.3% . Fisher's rationale is that any exceedance of 0.3% then turns the payload into a Schedule 1 federally banned substance, without an Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Business license. Oklahoma House Majority Floor Leader, Jon Echols, wrote the state legislation on industrial 'trace' hemp which DA Fisher is supposed to be enforcing.
Read our February coverage..
Echols says that even if the THC exceeds (or even triples) the THC cap, then it's to be treated as 'non-compliant hemp', not Marijuana. But Fisher still is not to interrupt lawfully licensed Kentucky commodities bound for another state and merely passing through Oklahoma. If Kentucky certified the grower and the payload, the only other state which can impose jurisdiction is the destination state, once the payload arrives there.
Fisher's decision runs contrary to the actions of DA Jack Thorp, of the Sequoyah District Court. Thorp told Sallisaw law enforcement officers in another highway traffic stop to take a small sample to send to DEA officials, and send the truckers on their way to Colorado.
Oklahoma public safety in general, and Pawhuska law enforcement specifically; may lose any federal funding as a result of this interdiction of the Hemp truck. Federal statutory language says that no federal funds can be used to prohibit interstate transportation of licensed industrial hemp.
- As of the enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill on December 20, 2018, hemp has been removed from schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act and is no longer a controlled substance.
- After USDA publishes regulations implementing the new hemp production provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill, States and Indian tribes may not prohibit the interstate transportation or shipment of hemp lawfully produced under a State or Tribal plan or under a license issued under the USDA plan.
- States and Indian tribes also may not prohibit the interstate transportation or shipment of hemp lawfully produced under the 2014 Farm Bill.
- A person with a State or Federal felony conviction relating to a controlled substance is subject to a 10-year ineligibility restriction on producing hemp under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946. An exception applies to a person who was lawfully growing hemp under the 2014 Farm Bill before December 20, 2018, and whose conviction also occurred before that date.
1. The Oregon Hemp detained in Idaho was not approved Hemp which was sanctioned by the USDA Hemp programs. Therefor the federal govt. does consider it to be contraband.
2. The West Virginia shipment of seeds to Pennsylvania was federally protected interstate commerce of Hemp, and west Virginia could not prohibit the shipment as a state police action.
Read the full legal opinion in this PDF.