A hemp license is property, federal judge rules in Minnesota case

A Minnesota hemp farmer facing felony drug charges over a 2018 crop that went hot still has the right to challenge the loss of his hemp license, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

Luis Hummel, who owns 5th Sun Gardens in Lanesboro, grew roughly 2,000 pounds of hemp that passed state THC tests before harvest.

But after the plants were harvested, their THC levels ticked above the legal limit of 0.3%, police say.

Hummel, whose criminal charges are pending, sued the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, saying the agency revoked his hemp license without giving him due-process rights to challenge its decision.

U.S. District Judge Patrick J. Schiltz handed Hummel a partial victory Thursday when he rejected Minnesota’s request to toss the whole lawsuit.

Schiltz disagreed with Minnesota’s argument that it has “unfettered discretion” to revoke hemp licenses after granting them.

The ruling means that Minnesota must treat a hemp licenses somewhat like a liquor license, which is considered property once it is granted.

Hummel’s lawyer, Jason Tarasek, told Hemp Industry Daily the farmer also plans to challenge the fact that hemp testing above 0.3% THC must be destroyed.