The New York Police Department has egg on their face after posting photos celebrating a 106-pound weed bust that turned out to be perfectly legal hemp.
According to the New York Post, the ordeal began last weekend, when cops at Brooklyn’s 75th precinct called Green Angel CBD and said that a FedEx driver had turned in their shipment. When Ronen Levy, brother of Green Angel CBD owner Oren Levy, went to pick up the product, cops immediately put him in handcuffs and placed him under arrest. Despite the hemp delivery’s clearly visible documentation and third party lab testing certifying its THC level under the federally accepted 0.3% standard, officers claimed the bud was illegal, full-strength weed.
Great job by Day Tour Sector E yesterday. Working with FedEx and other local law enforcement, they were able to confiscate 106 Lbs. of marijuana, and arrest the individual associated with the intended delivery. pic.twitter.com/eJ1Z3ApSLF— NYPD 75th Precinct (@NYPD75Pct) November 4, 2019
Once they had Levy in handcuffs, cops at the 75th Precinct took a victory lap, posing for a photo in front of the perfectly sealed hemp flower, and reveling in their big-time bud bust on social media. But as soon as that post went live, GreenAngels fired back, making sure that their side of the story was heard loud and clear.
“This was our shipment,” Green Angel posted on Instagram. “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 their paperwork proving it’s all hemp! Please spread the word! We need to let people know we are not criminals!”
Hemp was legalized at the federal level last year, and has since turned into a multi-billion dollar cash crop for farmers and retailers alike. But as this fall’s first huge hemp harvest goes into full swing, the new market has already seen its fair share of follies. In addition to this week’s erroneous arrest, hemp farmers have reported frequent crop thefts by confused cannabis-seekers. At the same time, cops in California recently busted a $1 billion pot farm operating under the guise of hemp cultivation.
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Back in New York, Ronen Levy was released on Sunday without bail, but is still facing criminal charges as of press time. As for his brother, Oren told the Post that he plans to fight both the arrest and the seizure until the situation has been resolved and he, his brother, and his brand are fully exonerated.
“Industry hemp looks like real weed… It’s the same species of plant, it’s just the chemical compound is different,” Levy said. “I want it back. It’s 100 percent legal. I have helped thousands of people — people with cancer, people with autism, pain, arthritis, people with severe skin issues, people who haven’t slept for weeks. We are a legitimate business.”
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