Lukasz Szmigiel

Minnesota Hemp Farmer Suing State Over Cease-and-Desist Letter

A Minnesota hemp farmer is suing the state to protect his business and current hemp crop after police say they found hemp products from his farm containing THC that exceeded the 0.3 percent industrial hemp threshold.

Full story after the jump.

A Minnesota industrial hemp farmer is suing the state arguing that the Department of Agriculture violated his constitutional rights by revoking his hemp cultivation permit and ordering that he destroy his crops, according to a Minnesota Public Radio report.

A May 1 letter from the Agriculture Department to hemp cultivator Luis Hummel claims that Fillmore County Sheriff’s pulled over an individual with hemp from Hummel’s 5th Sun Gardens that exceeded the 0.3 percent THC threshold to be considered hemp.

“MDA is revoking your license from the Pilot Project Program and revoking your industrial hemp license for one year,” the letter says, according to the report. “As a result, you are no longer in the pilot program, and must immediately destroy all viable propagative plant material.”

Hummel contends that the individual wasn’t arrested for cannabis possession, and he was never contacted by law enforcement or given any further information regarding the stop or given a test showing that the products were above the threshold.

“They haven’t given us due process, so we will sue them for everything they have if they destroy our property. You’re not supposed to be able to deprive me of life and liberty or property without a fair trial. Why do they think they are above the law?” – Hummel, to MPR

The state’s hemp pilot program requires hemp crops to be laboratory tested for THC content within 30 days of harvest. Hummel indicated he has been “very transparent” with Agriculture officials and has provided them “a lot of information that no one else is giving them.” Hummel estimates his business is worth at least $3.5 million.

The Agriculture Department declined to comment to MPR because the litigation is still pending. Hummel said no one has come to take his plants, likely because the case is pending in federal court.

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