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Hemp driver arrested in SD faces indictment

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A Colorado-based hemp delivery driver who was arrested in South Dakota this summer now faces indictment for possessing and transporting cannabis.

Robert Herzburg, 41, was indicted in September because the hemp he was allegedly hauling to Minnesota tested positive for THC contents. He is being charged with possession and intent to distribute marijuana.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, has recently flooded the market and been touted as a wonder product as more and more people use it for their chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia and epilepsy without the mind-altering effects of marijuana.

One of the key aspects of the current dispute is the fact that full-spectrum CBD products do contain trace amounts of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

According to Denver 7, and ABC affiliate, Herzburg is on bail for $5,000 until his court date on Nov. 6. [3]

The Rapid City Journal reports that Herzburg could face as much as 15 years prison time if found guilty. [2]

When he was arrested on July 16, the driver was hauling 300 pounds of hemp flower and products to Minnesota, according to the Journal. [2]

“You can't get high from this stuff,” Herzburg’s attorney Matthew Kinney told the Journal. “It would be unlike any other case that is usually before the courts for trying to distribute street marijuana.” [2]

Kinney claimed his client thought everything was legal, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s guidelines from earlier in the summer specifically outlined that police were not to interrupt interstate shipments of hemp plants, which are legal at the federal level.

Still, states like South Dakota specifically have not legalized the cannabis and industrial hemp products that the 2018 Farm Bill legalized at the federal level.

Gov. Kristi Noem has long been a hold-out from legalizing recreational marijuana and industrial hemp and CBD, but has expressed approval of medical marijuana.

"If we are going to be growing hemp, how do we enforce our laws when it comes to marijuana laws? How do we tell the difference between hemp and marijuana because we can't today, our law enforcement officers can't," Noem told the Journal. [2]

"If we really want to have our farmers to have a tool at a new crop, then the Legislature should be debating legalizing CBD oil, not just hemp, because that's really the crop that they're talking about and that needs to be regulated.” [2]


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