The USA’s Drug Enforcement Administration and others are being sued over what was claimed to be unlawful destruction of a hemp crop in California.
Agro Dynamics LLC says that in August 2019 it acquired the necessary authorisation for the legal cultivation of hemp on their premises in San Diego County. The company then planted approximately 3,000 hemp plants that it states tested at below the legal threshold of .3% THC.
“Specifically, a Victory Analysis laboratory test for this hemp cultivation showed results of less than 0.01 THC which is clearly within legal limits.”
It is alleged that an aerial reconnaissance in support of marijuana eradication on September 10 last year and a failure to investigate County records then led to a search warrant being issued at the property. Then on September 12, 2019, law enforcement officers executed the search warrant. It’s alleged that despite being told there was Registration Issuance from the County of San Diego for the growing of hemp on the premises and the tenant offering to show officers proof of registration, the officers seized and destroyed all plants that appeared to be marijuana.
The value of the destroyed hemp plants has been put at around USD $3.45 million.
There are dozens of defendants in this case including the DEA itself, various DEA officers, San Diego County, various members of the San Diego Sheriff Department and other unnamed parties.
The lawsuit (hat tip to Hemp Industry Daily) notes among other points:
“The Warrant authorized the seizure of marijuana, not industrial hemp. Defendants knowingly, intentionally, and/or negligently took Plaintiff’s industrial hemp, in violation of Plaintiffs rights protected by the Fourth Amendment to the United State~ Constitution.”
There are two sides to every story of course, but there doesn’t appear to be any comment as yet from the various defendants.
This isn’t the first lawsuit to be filed in California concerning alleged illegal destruction of a hemp crop. In April this year we reported the Kern County Sheriff’s Office and others were being sued over an incident where a cannabis crop was destroyed that the company said was hemp and its lawyers valued at approximately $1 billion.