The payload of the semi contained 18,000 lbs.. of hemp mulch from a farm in Kentucky which was on it's way to Colorado's Panacea Life Corporate processing facility, to be used in developing CBD oil and other homeopathic health products.
Even though the payload sat for weeks before the first lab testing was done, the 11 samples came back mostly under the 0.3% industry limits ascribed by federal & state law. But even if the average samples were 3 times as potent, but under the 1% ceiling, then no state is allowed to hinder the liberty of the individuals involved in the shipping. And that's actually a federal law which Oklahoma appears to have broken.
Federal law bars criminal enforcement of hemp growers found to be in violation, and the state only imposes civil fines or penalties, Transport personnel don’t appear to be addressed as far as violations in either set of laws.
D.A. Mike Fisher failed to address the media after his tests failed to back up the narrative he and his prosecutors sought to establish.
The District Attorney in Osage County is Mike Fisher. He is the state officer who ultimately decided to file the aggravated trafficking charges against the 4 individuals. But a District Court Judge is not assigned to this case yet, according the the OSCN court records. Court Clerk Jennifer Burd seems to be left as the individual who would likely be named in a federal civil rights suit on behalf of the 4 transport workers.
The real losers will either be Osage County or the entire state of Oklahoma. This just highlights the dangers of voting in an incompetent District Attorney. Fisher defeated incumbent Rex Duncan last summer.
In another twist of irony, DA Fisher just ordered the truck & it's contents sent to a federal testing lab in Colorado for more advanced and accurate results. It's not beyond the plausibility threshold for Colorado authorities to commandeer that truck & it's contents once the results vindicate the hemp industry operatives. It is Colorado's economic development which Oklahoma law enforcement and courts are unduly harassing. this is exactly the scenario which interstate commerce federal jurisdiction is supposed to prevent.
Panacea's corporate operations have losses which ave probably exceeded $1 million by now. But a more necessary action is called for in establishing the duties that states have, to assure interstate shipping does not get harassed by county bumpkin cops and arrogant, prideful idiots whom the voters place as officers of the state's district courts.
“I think Osage County has painted themselves into a corner a little bit,” Defense Attorney Trevor Reynolds said. “I am fairly certain that unless the (THC content) tests at 1.0 percent or higher, the U.S. government is not going to be interested in it.”
Federal and Oklahoma hemp laws appear to support that supposition.
The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 , (part of the December 2018 Farm Bill) became federal law in December. It removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. It provides protection for the interstate commerce of hemp, not allowing prohibition of its transport or shipment.
Federal law states that a hemp producer who negligently violates a state or tribal plan “shall not as a result of that violation be subject to any criminal enforcement action” by federal, tribal, state or local governments.
If a state or tribal government determines the violation is from a “culpable mental state greater than negligence” then the violator must be immediately reported to the attorney general and chief law enforcement officer of the state or Native American tribe.
This means that the Oklahoma Attorney General must take over the prosecution if a malicious violation of federal law is suspected.
Oklahoma’s industrial hemp pilot program also addresses growers who violate the three-tenths of one percent federal limit on THC.
If the average of test samples exceeds three-tenths of a percent but is equal to or less than 1.0 percent, then the crop from the growing area in question will be destroyed with no additional fines or penalties. If a sample exceeds 1.0 percent, then the crops in question will be destroyed and the state may impose additional fines or penalties.
the Tulsa World has extensive reporting on this development.