Ryan Shore 2

Ryan Shore, CEO of Big Sky Scientific, kneels in a field near hemp plants.

The Colorado-based company suing Idaho State Police to get its $1.3 million hemp shipment back has offered to drop the suit if the state will return the hemp and allow it to send future shipments through Idaho, writes Idaho Press reporter Tommy Simmons. The company, Big Sky Scientific, in a written statement Thursday said it “has offered to settle this case and all future cases, including claims for money damages, against the State if it will just give back Big Sky’s industrial hemp and allow it to continue to do its business by shipping its lawful product through Idaho in interstate commerce.”

The company is waiting for a response, according to the statement. Scott Graf, spokesman for the Idaho Office of the Attorney General, declined to comment on the statement, citing the ongoing nature of the case.

On Jan. 24, ISP seized the company’s 6,701 pounds of industrial hemp at an Ada County Port of Entry and arrested the trucker on charges of trafficking marijuana. The agency has kept the hemp as evidence in the driver’s criminal case. It’s uncertain how the hemp has fared during its monthslong stint in ISP’s evidence storage.

The driver, Denis Palamarchuk, 38, was transporting the hemp from Oregon to Colorado. On Tuesday, attorneys filed paperwork indicating Palamarchuk would plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge, reduced from the original felony charge, and serve no jail time.

After that plea is accepted by a magistrate judge, the hemp would no longer be needed as evidence in a criminal trial. It’s uncertain, though, what will happen to it.

“The disposition of the evidence has yet to be determined,” ISP spokesman Tim Marsano said.

You can read Simmons' full story here at idahopress.com (subscription required), or pick up today's edition of the Idaho Press; it's on the front page.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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