Oren Levy, a New York-based CBD retailer, finally got back a shipment of hemp seized by the New York Police Department (NYPD). Ronen Levy, his brother, was arrested after the police intercepted the shipment, mistaking it for illegal marijuana, and slapped with felony marijuana trafficking charges.
The 106 pounds of hemp had been sent from Fox Holler Farms, a hemp farm based in New Haven, Vermont to Oren Levy, who runs a CBD retailer dubbed Green Angel CBD. Although the farm stated that each and every box of packed hemp contained clear documentation stating that the hemp was THC-free, police confiscated the shipment, even bragging about the bust online.
A tweet by the NYPD said, “Great job by Day Tour Sector E yesterday. Working with FedEx and other local law enforcement, they were able to confiscate 106Ibs of marijuana, and arrest the individual associated with the intended delivery.” It was accompanied by a photo of two officers standing next to what looks like over 50 bags of marijuana.
Fox Holler Farms released a statement saying that its hemp was grown in compliance with federal regulations. “We’ve been working all summer to grow a CBD-compliant hemp crop. We succeeded too; our crop was non-detectable on delta-9 THC, federally compliant in both Vermont and New York.”
In 2018, Congress passed the Farm Bill, legislation that legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp, on the condition that the crop contained less than 0.3% THC, the chemical in marijuana that makes users ‘high’. Under the bill, all cannabis with the minuscule levels of THC was perfectly legal.
On the other hand, the NYPD stated that the buyer had no bill of lading to justify the delivery. According to NYPD Chief of Department Terence A. Monahan, the department got information about a large package of drugs (from a FedEx driver). “We got it in here, we field-tested it as marijuana. We called the individual in, he was placed under arrest.”
After his arrest, Ronen Levy was charged with felony marijuana trafficking charges. He had been picking up the shipment on behalf of his brother, who was recovering from a recent surgery.
However, after an almost never-ending period of massive stress and uncertainty, the charges against Ronen were dropped, and the police returned the shipment of hemp to Oren Levy. “We got everything back. They actually sealed it normally. I was surprised,” says.
However, the hemp will have to be tested to make sure it’s still up to code. “It’s completely dried up, that’s for sure. I’ll have to send it out to labs to get it checked for bacteria, mold, all that stuff.”
Oren holds no grudges against the police, but he hopes the mayor’s office will take disciplinary action on those who misled the district attorney. “A few bad apples ruined the bunch and made the NYPD look bad. I hope the NYPD gets more training on CBD. I don’t want this happening to anybody else,” he says.
Experts are sure that the entire CBD industry, including companies like ChineseInvestors.com Inc. (OTCQB: CIIX) and The Supreme Cannabis Company Inc. (TSX.V: FIRE) (OTCQX: SPRWF), are glad that this matter was resolved quickly and that similar incidents are avoided in the future.
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