“Federal and California law now recognize the significance of, and encourage, hemp research and commercialization. But instead of supporting Apothio’s valuable work—including its leading research on non-psychoactive CBD and other cannabinoids to treat epilepsy and other life-threatening conditions—the defendants showed up without warning in full tactical gear and ordered the farmers to demolish all of the hemp crops.”
Katherine Eskovitz, a lead partner with legal firm Roche Cyrulnik Freedman, said in a press release regarding a civil suit filed by the firm’s client, Apothio LLC, against Kern County, Calif., and other individuals and government agencies for allegedly destroying 500 acres of hemp. The suit claims about 17 million hemp plants, worth more than $1 billion, were destroyed. The alleged destruction was among “the largest wholesale destructions of personal property by government entities in the history of the United States,” claims Apothio, an established agricultural research institution (EARI), in the suit.
“We are encouraged by [the 2019] yield numbers and optimistic for the 2020 growing season. The department has been diligently working to open markets for growers to sell their hemp. We recently developed a policy allowing licensed hemp growers to sell product to licensed cannabis cultivators for use in medical and adult-use cannabis products.”
Jerry Costello II, Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) Acting Director, stated in an April 2020 press release issued by the IDOA giving the final hemp harvest numbers from the 2019 growing season.