Hauling Hemp: What’s the deal with its legality?
For truckers, hauling hemp across state lines has long been a cause for concern considering the potential legal repercussions of doing so.
While manufacturing and distributing hemp is legal in most states, being entangled in a case such as this could have enormous consequences for truckers’ careers.
In an effort to curtail some of the negative outcomes of the transportation of hemp, The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a rule on October 31, 2019, that may aid trucking companies when it comes to defining its legality.
According to Overdrive, the bill has legalized industrial hemp at the federal level and makes it illegal for states to prohibit the interstate transportation of hemp.
Nevertheless, truckers who choose to transport hemp across state lines should still be wary and extremely careful. Even as of December 2019, months after the federal government updated its rules, a driver in Texas was jailed for over a month.
Per reports from Land Line, a driver was charged with felony possession of marijuana for trying to transport a load that was worth $1 million.
While the driver was released after the U.S. government dismissed the charges, they already lost a month’s worth of money and time.
In addition, throughout 2018 and 2019 at least three drivers were arrested and charged with felony counts of marijuana trafficking and distribution in Idaho, according to CCJ.
“The drivers were hauling legal hemp — grown in Colorado and bound for Oregon, and vice versa. Idaho authorities, however, didn’t make the distinction,” says an article published in CCJ in September 2019.
Idaho’s governor then passed an executive order, which states that truckers hauling hemp can only transport the crop on interstate highways and the immediate vicinity of interstates. If drivers need to take any detours, it needs to be authorized by the Idaho Transportation Department.
With a slew of other regulations now in place for Idaho, there may be an increase in regulations coming from the state level, so truckers should be mindful of all the paperwork and documentation necessary to make sure they’re covered.
While hauling hemp is legal at the federal level, it may take some time for the states to properly implement any additional regulations, which drivers should constantly be keeping their eye on.
So, what do you think about the regulations around hauling hemp? Let us know in the comments or on social media!
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