Mike Stuart, on behalf of the federal government, is suing CAMO Hemp WV, and Grassy Run Farms. Because the charges are civil and not criminal, the farmers’ plants, property, equipment and seeds could all be seized and forfeited to the government. Stuart’s complaint states the U.S. is subject to receive either $250,000 in civil penalties or twice the sum of the defendants’ gross receipts, whichever is greater.
The farmers’ attorneys argue the Agricultural Act of 2014 — commonly referred to as the Farm Bill — which is still current law, protects their rights to grow hemp under state laws. Also, the Farm Bill and related provisions of a federal appropriations bill together state that no congressional appropriated funds can prevent the transportation, processing or sale of hemp under a state program authorized under the federal legislation.
In other words, Stuart’s office cannot spend “federal appropriations to interfere with or otherwise frustrate the intrastate or interstate transportation of industrial hemp grown or cultivated as part of a Farm Bill-authorized agriculture pilot program.”
While Judge Robert C. Chambers has not yet issued a final ruling on the case, he sided with the defendants in part and struck down pieces of a temporary restraining order and will now allow the farmers to harvest, dry and process the “marijuana,” although he ruled they cannot transport or sell it at the moment.
Now more than ever we need to band together to stick up for WV Hemp in our continued fight for pro-cannabis legislation.