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Last updated 5:46PM ET
June 6, 2020
Prairie Region News
Prairie Region News
Hemp suit appealed
(Prairie Public) - A federal judge's decision in the industrial hemp case is headed to the Eighth US Circuit Court of Appeals.

Two North Dakota farmers want to grow industrial hemp -- because they believe it could be a great cash crop. They have licenses from state government to grow it. But the federal Drug Enforcement Administration says because hemp is a cousin of marijuana, the two crops could easily be confused -- and DEA is refusing to allow the two to grow hemp.

"We are alleging that as a matter of scientific fact, because of the low levels of THC in industrial hemp, it is impossible to get any sort of 'high' from it, and that it is useless as drug marijuana," said Bismarck attorney Tim Purdon, who represents the farmers. "If industrial hemp is not a substitute for marijuana, then the federal government's reach under the Controlled Substances Act is curtailed. The federal government cannot reach the state regulated production of industrial hemp."

Purdon says DEA will have 30 days to respond -- and he thinks oral arguments will be held in late spring or early summer.

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