Federal appeals court to review Idaho hemp seizure

A Colorado CBD company seeking the release of hemp seized in Idaho has been granted an appeal from a federal court, but it could be months before the case is resolved.

Big Sky Scientific said that nearly 7,000 pounds of industrial hemp seized in Idaho last month was taken unlawfully under the 2018 Farm Bill.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will review the case in coming months.

A lower federal judge declined the release of the shipment to Big Sky Scientific, a CBD manufacturer in Aurora, Colorado.

That judge pointed out that Oregon’s hemp regulations haven’t yet been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, making it unclear that the hemp was legally grown.

Although the lower judge did not release the hemp, he noted that additional testing of the shipment showed “there is no evidence in the record that the seized load does not meet the definition of industrial hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill.”

Big Sky CEO Ryan Shore seemed confident his company would prevail.

“The 2018 Farm Bill clearly says that no state shall be allowed to prohibit the transportation of hemp or hemp products through any state,” Shore said in a statement.

Big Sky’s lawyer, Elijah Watkins, told Hemp Industry Daily that the case likely won’t be resolved until the summer, because Big Sky has until March 20 to submit arguments, after which the government will have a few weeks to reply.

Only then will the court decide whether to schedule oral arguments.

Until then, Idaho is free to store the hemp in any manner it chooses, possibly endangering the hemp’s commercial value.

Big Sky says it bought the hemp from Boones Ferry Berry Farms in Hubbard, Oregon. Another 7,000 or so pounds of hemp traveling in a different truck arrived safely, Watkins said.