Just when you thought hemp seeds were once again free to ship into the country with the DEA getting their hands on them, current hemp news discovers a massive shipment of hemp seeds heading into the US (bound for Colorado) from Canada, has been taken by federal authorities in North Dakota. Spearheading this debacle was a hemp activist. With a copy of last year’s federal Farm Bill at the ready, he set off for MacGregor Manitoba, and purchased 350 pounds of hemp seed used to grow a strain know as X-59. X-59 is also known as “hemp nut”.
As most people already know, industrial hemp is completely legal in Canada. North Dakota is one of the US states which allows a limited hemp production as well, however, under the Farm Bill, importing hemp seeds requires permission from the DEA. The hemp seeds were seized on Saturday, right at the border crossing in Hansboro, ND. He claims to have declared the bags if seed in his trunk and doesn’t see the issue, while the DEA persists there is yet another problem with the importation of the hemp seeds into the country. (See Kentucky’s DEA problem) The major diference between this seizure and the one that happened not too long ago in Kentucky, is the DEA just simply doesn’t seem to know what to do. The activist hasn’t been charged with a crime, but he states.
“They treated me very professionally,” After he returned to Colorado, (without the seeds). “They were just a little confused as to what to do. According to them, I couldn’t bring them in.”
Shawn Neudauer, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, confirmed the seizure.
“The shipment is currently undergoing scientific evaluation, as hemp seeds can look much like marijuana seeds,” Neudauer said in a statement.
To me it seems they are grasping at straws here. If they can’t seize legal hemp seeds from entering the country, they might as well confiscate them and at least claim them to potentially be marijuana seeds. Makes sense…
With over 40 hemp cultivation applications in Colorado, industrial hemp farmers seem to be getting aggravated and a bit impatient with the recent bumps in the road. The seeds confiscated in North Dakota were destined for experimental plots in order to research the crop and develop helpful applications for industrial hemp. Owners have only about two weeks to get the seeds planted so they can harvest the hemp before snow falls and by then, it’s too late.
“We need to get that here as soon as possible,” one hemp farmer said. At this rate, things seem to be taking a turn for the frustrating. Only time will tell, but I’m venturing to guess the DEA releases the seeds as soon as they realize they have no reason to keep them in the first place.