It’s a beautiful fall day at this hemp farm in Mason County West Virginia, but an ugly lawsuit looms overhead.
The U.S. Attorney’s office filed a civil suit against CAMO Hemp of West Virginia and Grassy Run Farms. The Federal lawsuit notes that Hemp – which is part of the marijuana family – is still a controlled substance. The hemp seeds were not bought internationally as rules required; and, the U.S. Attorney says security measures at the farm are not adequate.
“I don’t take a moral viewpoint on this. I don’t support it, but I’m in the law enforcement business. I don’t pick and choose the laws that I enforce. But I think that everybody ought to play by the same rules,” said U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart, Southern District of West Virginia.
Hemp is used to make rope, textiles, foods, cosmetics, fabric and more. It’s legal to grow in West Virginia, so long as it that less than point-three percent THC, which is the ingredient in marijuana that gets people high. Supporters say the farmers have done nothing illegal.
“There’s federal statutes that forbid Mike Stuart from going after a legal cannabis program whether it’s industrial hemp or medical cannabis. So he doesn’t have the funding to do what he is doing, so he’s going to civil court,” said Del. Mike Pushkin, (D) Kanawha.
“Had the regulations been complied with, we wouldn’t have taken any action. But the West Virginia Department of Agriculture needs to enforce the rules for this program,” said Mike Stuart, U.S. Attorney.
Backers note that last year industrial hemp had $700,000,000 in U.S. sales, with rapid growth potential.
“I think that hemp could be the savior of West Virginia. And not from a marijuana standpoint, but just from an industrial point,” said Rusty Williams, an industrial hemp advocate.
Even a company owned by boxing legend Mike Tyson is looking to expand into West Virginia hemp farming and medical cannabis.
Supporters of hemp and medical marijuana say this lawsuit will only discourage companies from outside of West Virginia, from coming into the Mountain State to do business.