The NYPD busted these men for shipping more than 100 lbs of ‘weed’ — but they say they didn’t commit a crime, because it’s all hemp.
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In US news and current events today, Brothers Oren and Ronen Levy are both in the hemp-derived CBD business. Legal hemp is defined in the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill as cannabis with a THC percentage of 0.3% or less. Oren placed an order for 106 lbs of hemp from a farm in Vermont. The hemp was shipped via FedEx from Vermont to New York City. Oren said FedEx flagged the shipment to Vermont police.
‘Vermont PD told FedEx, ‘This is 100% legal. Either you return it back to the farm or ship it to the receiver. Or leave it here and they’ll come pick it up—the farm’ll come pick it up.’ Oren Levy
According to Levy, FedEx chose to deliver the hemp.
‘FedEx turned it in again to the NYPD without letting them know it was cleared. I decided to call my farm right away and I also called the precinct right away, and I spoke to the officer, Greenidge, and I said, ‘How ya doin’, sir?’ Very respectful, ‘I understand the laws are changing and it’s a little confusing. All our paperwork is in order. Feel free to open up the box and check our paperwork. The farm spoke with Greenidge, with the officer there, and sent him more paperwork through emails. Greenidge called me back and told me, ‘How ya doin’, sir? We’re just investigating the paperwork and once we’re done, you can come pick it up. Greenidge called me back, first of all, and said, ‘All your paperwork’s in order. We apologize.’ And I told him, ‘I’m sorry for the mistake, I know the laws are changing. I’m gonna send my brother in to come pick it up.’ He was adamant about tryin’ to get me to come pick up, but I told him I just got out of surgery. He said, ‘We need all your licenses.’ I said all the licenses are in the—on the boxes. Everything’s legit. He said, ‘Alright, no problem. Get here before 7:00.’ I told him, ‘No problem. I’m gonna send my older brother Ronen Levy.’ Oren Levy
Ronen showed up at the 75th precinct expecting to pick up a hemp shipment. Instead, he was greeted by two police officers who questioned him and accused him of trafficking narcotics.
‘They just didn’t wanna hear it. They didn’t wanna understand that it was legal. They didn’t want to hear that there were paperwork in there or even contact the farm. They just ignored all that. As far as telling them that it was legal, I don’t know. I guess they didn’t wanna understand or listen to me. It was legal, and yeah, I got arrested for something that was legal. They put me in a cell and I stayed there for 33 hours.’ Ronen Levy
The Levy’s said the confusion between hemp and THC-laden weed is something that plagues police departments across the country.
‘I think it’s super important for law enforcement to get educated on this, all right? They almost destroyed his life ‘cause of this. They have to look at the paperwork. They have to make phone calls to the Department of Agriculture if they don’t know what it is. I think every state needs more education, ‘cause this is not the only—this didn’t happen to us only. It’s happening a lot.’ Oren Levy
‘The laws have changed. Hemp has THC in it, so you’re going to get positive results if you’re gonna test with those field test kits. I think that we need to use better test kits and officers need to just educate themselves just a little better.’ Ronen Levy
Ronen Levy is currently charged with 6 counts of possession of a controlled substance. His next court date is November 19, 2019.
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