A company has filed a lawsuit against state and local authorities after they say that a truckload of industrial hemp was wrongly identified as marijuana.
Last week, Big Sky Scientific LLC filed a lawsuit against the Idaho State Police and Ada County after they say that a truckload of cannabis was wrongly identified as marijuana instead of hemp and seized by authorities, according to a report from the Idaho State Journal.
The suit stems from an incident that occurred on January 24 at the East Boise Port of Entry when 36 year old Oregon-based truck driver Dennis Palamarchuk was stopped by Idaho State Police for a routine commercial vehicle inspection while he was en route to deliver the product to Colorado.
While examining the truck’s bill of ladling, police noticed that that load was listed as industrial hemp. After inspecting the truck’s load, they discovered 31 bags of a “green, leafy substance” weighing nearly 7000 pounds.
The Idaho trooper performing the inspection said that he smelled the odor of marijuana and conducted a field test on the cannabis. Troopers say that the field test indicated that the substance was marijuana and that a drug-sniffing canine alerted to the presence of marijuana.
Palamarchuk was then arrested and has been charged with felony drug trafficking as a result of the incident.
Though transporting industrial hemp is legal under the U.S. Farm Bill, ISP spokesman Tim Marsano says that it is not legal to transport any substance containing THC in the state of Idaho.
Big Sky Scientific’s suit asks Idaho State Police to return the load of what they say is legal industrial hemp. They also ask authorities for admission of wrong-doing.
One of the major differences between hemp and marijuana is the percentage of the psychoactive substance THC within the plant. Typically, hemp has less than 0.3% THC, while marijuana will contain 15% to 40% THC.
Lab testing on the substance is being expedited.