Consultant Petitioner Dismissed from Hemp Seizure Lawsuit

The judge in a California suit surrounding the seizure of a tribal-owned company’s hemp dismissed the complaints from one of the petitioners in the case stating that S.G. Farms did not have standing. S.G. Farms was involved in a consultation contract with the farm, but the court ruled that it did not suffer an injury from the event.

The plaintiffs in the case; Free Spirit Organics, NAC (FSO); Winnemucca Shoshoni, MBS; Cannabis Science, Inc.; HRM Farms, Inc.; American States University; and S.G. Farms; allege that a hemp seizure from a 26.19 acre portion of land they owned and operated on October 10, 2017 “deprived them of certain constitutional protections.” The hemp was allegedly worth $77 million.

The plaintiffs received a letter in August 2017 stating that their hemp product was prohibited by county law, which they responded to in September. On September 26 the Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance which imposed a temporary moratorium on growing industrial hemp in the county and contacted the plaintiffs asking them to stop their cultivation immediately. Although the specific instance was set to be heard by the board in November, law enforcement seized the hemp on October 9, 2017.

FSO is a Native American company owned tribally, they managed the plot of land where the Hemp was seized as part of a larger 250-acre parcel, and are business partners with other plaintiffs. S.G. Farms is an agricultural research organization, FSO contracted with them to consult and help them produce a higher yield.

“The court finds S.G. Farms has not shown it had or has an enforceable interest in any portion of the crop,” the order signed by Judge Kimberly Mueller said. The farm allegedly provided seeds, but had already been paid. There is also no written agreement showing that a portion of the sale would go to S.G. Farms for consultation services.

The plaintiffs were represented by the Law Offices of Joseph Salama, Richard Glenn Elie, and The Law Office of Ronda Baldwin-Kennedy. The Defendants, including San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, the board’s individual members, San Joaquin County Counsel, San Joaquin County District Attorney, and San Joaquin County Sheriff are represented by Cole Huber.