Federal lawsuit against West Virginia hemp farm dismissed

The owners of a West Virginia hemp farm were cleared of federal drug charges after they were accused of violating the federal Controlled Substances Act for purchasing seeds from Kentucky.

A U.S. district court judge dismissed the case against Grassy Run Farms and its affiliated company Commonwealth Alternative Medical Options (CAMO Hemp WV) on Wednesday, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart had accused Grassy Run and CAMO Hemp WV of getting roughly 5,000 pounds of hempseeds from Kentucky without a license from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, then lying about the seed source to West Virginia regulators.

In September, a federal judge blocked the two companies from harvesting the hemp or moving it across state lines – but later that month lifted the restraining order, allowing the companies to harvest, dry and mill the plants.

In January, the plants tested well below the legal THC limit.

On Wednesday, Chambers cited the 2018 Farm Bill and an earlier budget provision barring the federal government from spending money to interfere with hemp production.

U.S. District Judge Robert Chambers wrote Wednesday that the Farm Bill “made it clear that Congress did not want enforcement agencies interfering with the growth, cultivating and marketing of hemp and industrial hempseeds.”

“Quite simply, industrial hemp is not a controlled substance under the CSA,” the judge wrote.