New federal law doesn’t protect people from transporting hemp plants in Idaho

By EMILY LOWE and XAVIER WARD Idaho Press

BOISE — The new federal Farm Bill, which legalized the sale of hemp plants, won’t stop those transporting the plant from getting a criminal charge if caught in Idaho, according to Ada County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Scott Bandy.

Last week, the Idaho State Police arrested an Oregon man who was transporting a substance that tested positive for THC — 6,701 pounds worth, according to the agency.

The man, identified as 36-year-old Denis Palamarchuk, was arrested and booked into the Ada County Jail on a felony drug trafficking charge. The truck, registered in Oregon, had a load declared as hemp. But the state trooper was skeptical and tested the substance, which tested positive for THC, a psychoactive compound. Hemp contains tiny traces of THC, but not enough to produce a high.

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.

“We are 1,000 percent sure that this will get resolved because we didn’t break any law,” Pavliy said.

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