Federal lawsuit says hemp farm violated Controlled Substances Act

By Kyla Asbury | Oct 19, 2018

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HUNTINGTON — U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart has filed a lawsuit against a hemp farm in West Virginia, alleging it violated the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

The lawsuit was filed against Matthew Mallory, Camo Hemp WV, Gary Kale and Grassy Run Farms on Sept. 11 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Huntington.

The suit claims Mallory filed an application for research and marketing cultivation of industrial hemp with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture back in April and listed the business name as Camo Hemp WV. He then received the license to participate in the West Virginia industrial hemp pilot program.

Mallory's application indicated that there would be security cameras, a fence, a chain-locked gate and signage would be installed, but Mallory did not install the security measures.

The suit claims Mallory also agreed to purchase the seeds for the project through the West Virginia Department of Agriculture but instead purchased the seeds from Hickman Seed & Grain in Clinton, Kentucky.

Mallory ordered and had delivered the hemp seeds a day prior to the date he had signed the application with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, according to the suit.

The suit also states Mallory intended to harvest the hemp plants and then ship the top portions of the plants to Pennsylvania.

"The shipment of any part of a cannabis plant, including seeds of a cannabis plant, across state lines, is a violation of the CSA," the complaint states.

The suit claims the defendants engaged in the manufacture of, distribution of and possession with intent to distribute marijuana in violation o the CSA and other federal laws.

West Virginia law allows for the cultivations, sale and purchase of industrial hemp, but hemp must be comprised of less than 1 percent THC. 

Attorneys involved did not return requests for comment.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 3:18-cv-01289

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