NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – When is a big drug bust not a big drug bust?
The NYPD 75th Precinct took to Twitter on Tuesday to brag about 106 pounds of marijuana it seized from a delivery “destined for our city streets.”
One problem: That “marijuana” turned out actually to be legally-grown hemp from licensed Vermont farmers, bound for a CBD store in Brooklyn.
The hemp contained no significant level of the THC component that gives cannabis its narcotic effects.
The tweet showed a photo of two officers surrounded by dozens of plant-filled bags displayed on several tables.
Officers Greenidge and Ganshaw from the @NYPD75Pct used precision policing and relentless follow-up, along with a great working relationship with @FedEx and other local law enforcement officials, to confiscate 106 pounds of marijuana that was destined for our city streets. pic.twitter.com/OnRyLsH90D
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) November 5, 2019
“Officers Greenidge and Ganshaw from the @NYPD75Pct used precision policing and relentless follow-up, along with a great working relationship with @FedEx and other local law enforcement officials, to confiscate 106 pounds of marijuana that was destined for our city streets,” the tweet read.
“Everything was fine,” said Jahala Dudley of Fox Holler Farms. “We’ve done shipments with FedEx before, many times.”
Dudley’s farm shipped more than $17,000 worth of their product to Brooklyn on Friday night.
“It’s all legal and we did everything by the books,” said Buddy Koerner, also of Fox Holler Farms. “We really tried to do everything the right way.”
The product was coming to John Dee, the owner of Green Angel CBD shop. His brother was arrested when he went to pick it up.
“My product helps people with autism, it helps people with anxiety depression – many different health issues it helps for,” said Dee.
Growing hemp commercially became legal last year under the 2018 Farm Bill thanks in part to the advocacy of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
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This was our shipment. My brother was falsely arrested. Those bags were all hemp . All documents were in each box. The farm also called them to give them all there paperwork proving it's all hemp ! Please spread the word! We need to let people know we are not criminals! #hemp #cannabis #cannabiscommunity #nycc #nyc #blacklivesmatter #arrested #lies #help #brooklyn #nypd #flower #cbdheals #cancersucks #hempflower #repost #share #please #help #mlm #medical
“This was our shipment. My brother was falsely arrested. Those bags were all hemp,” posted GreenAngelCBD. “All documents were in each box. The farm also called them to give them all there (sic) paperwork proving it’s all hemp! Please spread the word! We need to let people know we are not criminals!”
Dee says the Vermont Police Department cleared the boxes before they were shipped. He says shipments have been seized before but documentation would clear things up. All 106 pounds of the product is now sitting in an NYPD warehouse.
Police in New York say this time the product field-tested positive for marijuana and is now as a lab pending a final determination.
“I hope this gets settled,” said Dee. “This can damage, this has completely shut down my company.”
“This shipment will make or break the farm this year,” said Dudley. “If this sale goes through, we’re gonna be OK. We’re gonna break even. If this sale doesn’t go through, we didn’t break even this year.”
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets is currently working to help finalize plans for local farmers to grow and sell hemp crops such as the batch intercepted in New York City.