Wisconsin hemp grower sues Illinois contractor, says product was burned

A Wisconsin-based hemp grower is suing an Illinois farm it hired to dry 84,000 pounds of the crop, only to have most of the product burn during the drying process, a federal lawsuit alleges.

Oconomowoc-based Lake County Growers said it hired Winslow, Illinois-headquartered Moest Holdings in October to dry the hemp with an industrial dryer. Lake County Growers planned to use the hemp for CBD products.

The Chicago Tribune originally reported the lawsuit, filed last week in federal court.

Lake County Growers said 65,000 pounds of its hemp burned when an ember from an industrial dryer caught fire, causing $1.4 million in damages.

“Approximately two weeks into the operation of the industrial dryer, pipes began to smoke and embers were coming out,” the lawsuit noted. The fire destroyed plants, while others were contaminated or damaged by smoke.

Moest operates as High Plains Grains. A company official from High Plains Grains declined comment to the Tribune.