Hemp truck

More than 6,000 pounds of what was declared to be industrial hemp tested positive for THC and the truck driver was arrested for marijuana trafficking, according to the Idaho State Police.

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BOISE — While law enforcement waits on test results to determine if a 6,700-pound seizure was marijuana or hemp, the company behind the product is wasting no time, filing a lawsuit against the Idaho State Police.

Elijah Watkins, an attorney representing Big Sky Scientific, confirmed that the Colorado company has filed a federal complaint and emergency motion for injunctive relief in the case but could not comment further. The 2018 Farm Bill recently legalized the sale of industrial hemp, which has low levels of THC. In Idaho, however, any THC-containing substance is still prohibited.

The Idaho Statesman first reported the suit Friday, which comes more than a week after the Jan. 24 traffic stop.

On Jan. 24, an ISP trooper with the commercial vehicle safety section inspected a commercial semi-trailer at the eastbound East Boise Port of Entry. The truck, registered to Oregon, had a load declared as hemp. According to an ISP news release, the trooper was suspicious that the cargo was marijuana.

A sample of the cargo, which weighed 6,701 pounds, is being tested at a laboratory.

The driver, identified as 36-year-old Denis Palamarchuk, was arrested and booked into the Ada County Jail on a felony drug trafficking charge. Palamarchuk’s load was the third hemp haul for VIP Transporter since the Farm Bill passed, said Ivan Pavliy, who owns the Portland-based trucking company. According to a previous Idaho Press report, legislation at the state level would have to occur to conform with the new laws laid out in the 2018 Farm Bill.

Rep. Caroline Nilsson Troy, R-Genesee, plans to introduce such a bill soon with Sen. Abby Lee, R-Fruitland, to legalize the production and transportation of hemp in Idaho.

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