Lawsuit contends Idaho State Police wrongfully seized load of legal hemp

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Updated Feb 4, 2019

Is it pot, or is it hemp? Looks like a court will have to decide.

State troopers in Idaho recently made headlines after seizing over three tons of what they said was marijuana being transported in a tractor-trailer.

However, the owners of the load, Big Sky Scientific, a hemp farming cooperative in Colorado, say Idaho State Police mistook legal hemp for marijuana and are now suing the state to get their load back, according to the

In their suit, Big Sky cites the 2018 Farm Bill which allows for interstate transport of industrial hemp. State police say the load tested positive for THC and seized it since Idaho law prohibits any substances with THC.

Idaho is required to submit a plan in accordance with the 2018 farm bill but has yet to do so. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, industrial hemp “includes the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part or derivative of such plant, including seeds of such plant, whether growing or not, that is used exclusively for industrial purposes (fiber and seed) with a tetrahydrocannabinols concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. The term “tetrahydrocannabinols” includes all isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers of tetrahydrocannabinols.”

The THC level of Big Sky’s cannabis seized by troopers—all 6,701 pounds—has not been released.

The truck carrying the controversial load had been stopped for inspection at the East Boise Port of Entry on Thursday, Jan. 24. The driver told police he was carrying legal hemp to Colorado. He was arrested and released on a $100,000 bond.