California farm launches $17 million lawsuit over seed failures

Lower-than-promised germination rates in a batch of hempseed from Colorado has spurred the California farm that bought the seed to file a $17 million lawsuit.

GX Farms of Delano, California, said in the suit it bought 520,000 Cherry Blossom hempseeds in May 2019 at 70 cents each, or $364,000, from H.E.M.P. Group of Aurora, Colorado.

According to the suit, GX Farms paid another $25,000 to a broker who promised a germination rate of 99%. GX Farms said it planned to plant 220 acres to 240 acres of the hemp last year.

But when the seeds arrived, GX Farms said in the suit, early testing showed germination rates were closer to 55%.

The farm said it tried but failed to get a refund and alleges in the suit that it lost $20,000-$100,000 an acre in profits – for a total loss of $3.5 million to $17 million.

GX Farms seeks the maximum amount, plus damages.

H.E.M.P. Group has not replied to the filing.