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Hemp Farmer Sues Minnesota Department of Agriculture
USAgNet - 06/18/2019

A Lanesboro hemp farmer is suing the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, claiming the department violated his right to due process after it revoked his license to grow hemp and demanded he destroy his crop, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court.

The lawsuit was filed by Luis Miguel Hummel and 5th Sun Gardens.

According to the lawsuit, 5th Sun Gardens obtained a license from the MDA to participate in the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program in January. The license allowed 5th Sun Gardens to grow and process hemp.

According to lawyers for Hummel and 5th Sun Gardens, on May 1, the MDA sent a letter that said an individual was stopped by Fillmore County law enforcement while in possession of cannabis products that belonged to the farm. The letter also said the individual was selling the products in the Twin Cities on the farm's behalf.

The MDA went on to say the products were tested and that they exceeded the legal limit of Delta 9 THC, the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana, according to the lawsuit. According to the 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 and Minnesota Industrial Hemp Development Act, products are not allowed to contain THC higher than .03 percent.

The lawsuit says the MDA informed Hummel that it was revoking 5th Sun Gardens' license and that they must destroy all "viable propagative plant material."

Hummel and 5th Sun Gardens responded to MDA saying the department never identified the individual who was stopped by law enforcement, that the MDA never identified the material that was tested or provided evidence that supported the test results and that the department failed to provide them with an opportunity for a hearing.

The MDA refused Hummel's request for a hearing and said in a May 16 letter that he and 5th Sun Gardens have "no right or interest to grow industrial hemp," according to the lawsuit.

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