In 2017, Eric Jensen shipped 350 pounds of industrial hemp that was grown on his son’s farm in Holly, Colorado. The shipment, with an estimated worth of $120,000, was heading to a CBD processor in California.
En route to the Golden State, the FedEx truck holding the shipment went via a distribution center in Liberal, Kansas. Personnel noted the sturdy smell of the hemp shipment, mistook it for marijuana, and notified Kansas Highway Patrol.
Even though the shipment contained documentation from the Colorado Division of Agriculture that the cannabis sativa contained significantly less than .three% THC, therefore meeting the requirements of industrial hemp, Kansas Patrol Lt. Josh Biera seized the shipment, stating, “there was an exceptionally sturdy odor of marijuana coming from every single of the boxes.”
As a outcome, Seward County issued a bench warrant for Jensen’s arrest. Jensen contested extradition from Colorado, and the judge ruled in his favor. Seward County could charge Jensen with a $500,000 fine and place him in a Kansas state prison for a minimum of 11.five years. Charging Jensen would demand proof that the shipment’s THC levels are larger than .three%.
Jensen and his lawyers are functioning to have the case thrown out, as the shipment of hemp is of a federally legal substance. Receiving the case thrown out would demand proving that the cannabis sativa in the shipment includes significantly less than .three% THC.
With out suitable testing of the hemp, neither Kansas prosecutors can’t prove their case, and Jensen can’t prove his innocence.
Seward County says they will not release the proof out-of-state for lab testing, and stated that Kansas has no criminal lab which can test the industrial hemp for THC levels. The Kansas Division of Agriculture has the capabilities to test the hemp for THC levels, on the other hand, the KDA allegedly did not want to be involved in a criminal case. This week, the KDA has agreed to test the hemp, on the other hand, a timeline was not supplied.
Jensen’s lawyer, Van Hampton, filed a motion for testing of the industrial hemp. Seward County Judge Clint Peterson is denying the request to hold a hearing on the motion to look at a testing order unless Jensen seems in his Kansas courtroom.
Jensen is refusing to leave Colorado, as the case has amounted in a $200,000 bond on his head, and does not want to threat getting arrested. Jensen, a fourth-generation farmer, has observed ramifications exceeding his lost shipment and inability to leave the state. He was released from his coaching and college bus driving positions at the nearby higher college as a outcome of getting charged with a higher-level felony.
In January 2019, Kansas charged Eric and his brother Ryan Jensen on 4 drug offenses, which includes 3 felonies for this hemp shipment. According to US News, Seward County Assistant Prosecutor Kade Goodwin could not clarify why two years passed just before the Jensens have been charged.
Brandan Davies, a criminal defense lawyer in Overland Park, Kansas, told Kansas City Organization Journal that this case should really alert any person in the cannabis sector. The case shows that in spite of nationwide adjustments of legislation and attitudes about cannabis and hemp, states like Kansas could halt the progress of these quickly-developing industries.
In a equivalent instance, Idaho State Police seized practically 7,000 pounds of industrial hemp in February 2019, arresting the delivery truck driver. Testing of THC levels showed that the shipment contained industrial hemp with significantly less than .three% THC. In spite of the findings, Idaho nevertheless intends to impound the hemp, truck, and trailer.
Industrial hemp is the base crop for CBD goods, which is estimated to be a $20 billion sector by 2024. States without having a testing facility authorized to identify THC levels could continue to withhold much more shipments of industrial hemp, severely slowing down the anticipated development of the CBD industry’s profitability.
Featured image by way of CPR.