Hemp grower sues Santa Cruz County for mislabeling crop as weed

A Watsonville hemp producer is suing the County of Santa Cruz for incorrectly labeling its hemp crop as marijuana — a sampling error that the company says cost $9.6 million.

Sungrown Organic Hemp filed the lawsuit on Feb 16. The suit claims the Santa Cruz County Department of Agriculture used faulty methods for testing its plants in 2019, which resulted in a finding that the plants contained 0.44% THC. By law, hemp must have a THC concentration of no more than 0.3%.

Ten days after the first test, the county retested and got the right amount. By the time the mistake was rectified, 90% of the flower was spoiled from to moisture, according to the lawsuit.

The company’s claimed net loss of $9.6 million was calculated by using the January 2020 Hemp Benchmarks Index.

Read more about the lawsuit at Hemp Industry Daily.



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