In January, Idaho State Police confiscated a 6,700-pound shipment of industrial hemp. The delivery was traveling from Boones Ferry Berry Farms in Hubbard, Oregon to Big Sky Scientific in Colorado. The raw hemp was being transported so that it could be refined into CBD extract.
The bill of lading that the driver, Denis Palamarchuck, carried labeled it as industrial hemp. With the passing of the 2018 farm bill, industrial hemp is now legal on a Federal level. Being protected by the Commerce clause in the U.S. Constitution would allow goods to pass through Idaho without incident legally.
The state trooper noticed the shipment at a weigh station near Boise. The state trooper was suspicious enough to bring in a portable THC test and a drug-sniffing dog. Both identified the shipment as marijuana. Drug-dogs being trained to sniff out cannabis Sativa and don’t differentiate the two.
The portable THC test showed positive because there is THC in the hemp. Though that legally means it’s less than .3%, the field test wasn’t designed to show a percentage, only to detect THC.
Big Sky Scientific produced test results stating the shipment contained only 0.043% THC. The company is suing for the return of their cargo. They’ve stated that all charges will be dropped if their $1.3 million load is returned and they are allowed to continue shipping through Idaho. This, despite the doubt that the hemp will still be usable.
The driver was initially jailed on charges of felony drug trafficking. As the complicated nature of the issue came to light, the trucker only plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of a faulty bill of lading. He is awaiting persecution after posting his $100,000 bail.
With the change in the prosecution of the driver, the hemp isn’t needed as evidence by the state. Idaho State Police stand behind their officer and are committed to keeping a hard line with Idaho laws.