Hemp business sues two Oregon counties for $2.5 million after police raid

An Oregon hemp business is suing two counties on allegations that police seized legal hemp from its warehouse and then destroyed it.

Oregonized Hemp Co. LLC, a hemp farm and farm service contracting business based in Grants Pass, and owner Justin Pitts filed a $2.5 million lawsuit against Josephine and Jackson counties in U.S. District Court in Medford on Friday.

The company claims that a police search on April 22 at a greenhouse leased by the business in Williams, Oregon violated civil rights and due process, according to the Mail Tribune.

A search warrant served to the owner said the police were looking for marijuana, but did not authorize the seizure of industrial hemp, according to the lawsuit.

Pitts claimed that during the raid, police from Josephine County and Jackson County seized at least 5,000 pounds of plant, worth “not less than $2 million,” which he said had THC concentrations at or below the federal legal limit of 0.3%, classifying it as legal industrial hemp.

The lawsuit alleges police destroyed the hemp the following day under an April 23 supplemental order filed in Josephine County Circuit Court to “cover up the fact that (the counties) had unlawfully taken OHC/Pitts’ property.”