Case Law Index Industrial Hemp

January 1, 2000 – April 11, 2023

This index provides a comprehensive though not necessarily exhaustive compilation of reported and unreported federal and state court decisions involving Industrial Hemp that were decided between the dates listed above.  The cases are listed in reverse chronological order. The “Text” link goes to the freely available Google Scholar text of the opinion.  These listings are for educational purposes only, and are not a substitute for legal counsel.

First Circuit

United States v. Abdulaziz, 998 F.3d 519 (1st Cir. 2021) (holding that the defendant’s 2014 conviction on hemp-based offense was not conviction of “controlled substance offense,” since hemp was not on Controlled Substances Act (CSA) drug schedules when defendant was sentenced on account of his offense in September of 2019.) Text

New Hampshire Council, Inc. v. Marshall, 203 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2000) (Involving the definition of marijuana as used in federal criminal statutes.) Text

Second Circuit

Horn v. Medical Marijuana Inc, 383 F.Supp.3d 114 (W.D. NY 2019) (Claims made by truck driver for positive THC test include “false advertising,” “deceptive business practices,” fraudulent inducement, racketeering…” The Court granted summary judgement on the majority of these claims but allowed those pertaining to “fraudulent inducement and civil RICO” to move forward.) Text

Third Circuit

Molitor v. City of Scranton, No. 3:20-1266, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164478 (M.D. Pa. Aug. 31, 2021) (Plaintiff, owner of CBD shop, tried to mail some products, and packages were confiscated due to odor and “green leafy substance”. There was a “Certificate of Analysis” included in the package that indicated the substance was CBD/hemp and not marijuana. However, the court did not place much weight on the certificate due to reasonable grounds for probable cause being maintained. Also, “the 2018 Farm Bill, which decriminalized hemp on the federal level, was not signed into law until several months after the substance in Plaintiff’s packages was tested. Therefore, any differentiation between THC levels in marijuana and hemp at the time Force’s report was completed would have been inconsequential for purposes of determining whether a crime was committed.”) Text

United States v. Miller, 480 F. Supp. 3d 614 (M.D. Pa. 2020) (If element of state crime is more broad than element of corresponding federal offence, state crime cannot constitute career-offender predicate; In this case, a 2008 conviction under Section 780-113(a)(30) swept more broadly than its federal counterpart and cannot qualify as a “controlled substance”) Text

Fourth Circuit

United States v. Hope, 28 F.4th 487 (4th Cir. 2022) (State’s definition of marijuana at the time of predicate offense was broader than 21 U.S.C.S. § 802’s federal definition, so there was no categorical match and predicate offense was not a serious drug offense.) Text

United States v. Harris, No. 4 : 18-CR-57-FL-1, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 211633 (E.D.N.C. Dec. 9, 2019) (Odor of burnt cannabis constitutes probable cause; harris; The smell of marijuana alone, even if some use of industrial hemp is legal, especially when corroborated by multiple officers, supports a determination of probable cause.) Text

Smith v. Manheim Remarketing, Inc., No. 5:19-CV-00086-KDB-DSC, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 239241 (W.D.N.C. Nov. 25, 2019) (To plead wrongful discharge under the North Carolina Equal Employment Protection Act related to hemp/marijuana use, plaintiff must show that: 1) he or she was using a lawful product, 2) his or her use of that product was lawful, and 3) defendants’ restriction of his or her use did not relate to a bona fide occupational requirement reasonably related to employment activities) Text

United States v. Mallory, 372 F.Supp.3d 377 (Southern District of WV 2019). (Court held that a hemp producer could purchase seeds from an out of state supplier without violating the Controlled Substances Act) Text

Palomo Farms, LLC/Hemport v. U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, No. 4:17-CV-169-BO, 2018 WL 2768676 (E.D.N.C., June 7, 2018) (Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over case brought against the DEA.)(Court of Appeals affirmed in Palomo Farms LLC/Hemport v. United States DEA, 763 F. App’x 327 (4th Cir. 2019)) Text

Sixth Circuit

Legacy Hemp, LLC v. Terramax Holdings Corp., No. 21-5161, 2021 WL 4258822 (6th Cir. Sept. 20, 2021) (Distributor of industrial hemp seed had personal jurisdiction to bring breach of contract claims against producer of hemp seed.) Text

Rieves v. Town of Smyrna, Tennessee, 2020 WL 2503260 (6th Cir. 2020) (Noting that “the mere presence of [cannabidiol] CBD in products, without any indication as to the products’ origin or [tetrahydrocannabinol] THC percentage, did not provide probable cause for violations of Tennessee’s controlled substance laws” and qualified. The case has since been appealed but on unrelated grounds; the courts never readdressed nor changed the stance regarding probable cause.) Text

Amox v. S. Ky. Rural Elec. Coop. Corp., No. 1:18-CV-00120-GNS, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56367 (W.D. Ky. Mar. 31, 2020) (Wrongful discharge; No state statute establishes Plaintiff’s right to use CBD oil outside of work without interference by employer. Therefore, Plaintiff cannot maintain a wrongful termination claim on this basis.) Text

Onyx & Rose, LLC v. T1 Payments, LLC, No. 3:19-CV-489-CRS, 2019 WL 7116111 (W.D. Ky. Dec. 23, 2019) (Kentucky headquartered company that sells CBD oil and hemp oil products nationwide could not change choice of venue for dispute with credit card payment processing company despite arguing that “Kentucky is the epicenter of the nation’s burgeoning hemp industry.”) Text

Lorincz v. Etue, No. 16-12290, 2017 WL 712949 (E.D. Mich., Feb. 23, 2017) (Acknowledgement that “industrial hemp” is not included in the definition of “marihuana” when grown for research purposes.) Text

Cockrel v. Shelby Cnty. Sch. Dist., 270 F.3d 1036 (6th Cir. 2001) (A schoolteacher brought a First Amendment claim after she was terminated, allegedly for bringing in guest speakers to speak on the environmental benefits of industrial hemp. The court held that a school may not retaliate against a teacher for speaking on matters of public concern if the teacher’s interest in speaking on the issue outweighs the school’s interest in promoting education efficiency. The subject of industrial hemp was found to be related to public and social concern in the community.) Text

Seventh Circuit

C.Y. Wholesale v. Holcomb, No. 1:19-cv-02659-SEB-TAB, 2021 U.S. Dist. (S.D. Ind. Feb. 22, 2021) (Plaintiffs seeking injunction against Governor and State of Indiana for enacting a law which prohibits the finance, delivery, manufacture, and possession of smokable hemp, including hemp bud and hemp flower is denied.) Text

IN RE: Royalty Properties LLC, 604 B.R. 742, (B.R. N.D. Ill. E.D. 2019) (Plans by the debtor to reorganize business as hemp producer not considered reasonable by the court. Formally the business rented property to a hay farmer. The court holds that the transition from hay to hemp would not constitute a reasonable restructuring and thus the bankruptcy is converted from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7.) Text

Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin v. Drug Enforcement Administration, 190 F.Supp.3d 843 (E.D. Wis. 2016) (Tribe not allowed to grow hemp under hemp exemption to Controlled Substances Act.) Text

Eighth Circuit

United States v. Nava, No. 2:22-CR-20002-PKH-1, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150632 (W.D. Ark. Aug. 1, 2022) (Defendant’s motion to suppress was denied. Even if some uses of industrial hemp are legal, smell constitutes probable cause for a search.) Text

Wade v. United States, No. 1:20-CV-00272-SNLJ, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145903 (E.D. Mo. Aug. 4, 2021) (So we have a situation where, at the time of Wade’s state conviction in 2012, both Missouri and the federal government defined marijuana to include hemp. And at the time of Wade’s federal sentencing in January 2019, both Missouri and the federal government had removed hemp from their respective lists of controlled substances. The court ultimately ruled that he was not entitled to relief.) Text

Hummel v. Minnesota Dep’t of Agric., 430 F. Supp. 3d 581 (D. Minn. 2020) (Hemp farmer failed to state a claim that Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) violated his substantive due process rights following the revocation of the hemp farmer’s license to participate in industrial hemp pilot program which was administered by MDA). Text

Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe v. United States Dep’t of Agric., No. 4:19-CV-04094-KES, 2019 U.S. Dist. (D.S.D. June 6, 2019) (injunction against allowing tribe to produce hemp is denied). Text

United States v. Plume, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40138 (D.S.D. Mar. 28, 2016) (Defendant grew industrial hemp on tribal land. Government was ultimately able to enjoin in 2004 after some back-and-forth. In 2016, the court recognized that circumstances and views surrounding industrial hemp have changed, citing several states who have adopted or considered adopting bills to legalize the substance. Defendant has carried the burden of establishing that changed circumstances warrant relief in the form of granting his motion and vacating the 2004 injunction.) Text

Monson v. Drug Enforcement Admin., 589 F.3d 952 (8th Cir. 2009) (Regulation of locally grown industrialized hemp through CSA did not violate Commerce Clause.) Text

Olsen v. Holder 610 F.Supp.2d. 985 (S.D. Iowa, 2009) (Court lacked jurisdiction over complaint seeking declaration that marijuana’s scheduling as controlled substance was improper.) Text

Ninth Circuit

Duke’s Invs. LLC v. Char, No. 22-00385 LEK-RT, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 211778 (D. Haw. Nov. 22, 2022) (The Plaintiff asserted that the State’s amendments to Hawaii Administrative Rule 11-37 (HAR) definition of “hemp” that would significantly narrow the definition and conflict with federal law. The State contended that the definition was similar, except where it included certain variations of hemp. There was no state preemption of federal law as the HAR did not interfere with interstate transportation of hemp products by licensed hemp producers.) Text

Free Spirit Organics, NAC v. San Joaquin Cnty. Bd. of Supervisors, No. 2:17-CV-02271-KJM-JDP, 2022 U.S. Dist. (E.D. Cal. June 27, 2022) (Prohibiting Plaintiffs from growing industrial hemp did not violate their Fourth Amendment rights.) Text

AK Futures Ltd. Liab. Co. v. Boyd St. Distro, Ltd. Liab. Co., 35 F.4th 682 (9th Cir. 2022) (“Manufacturer’s delta-8 THC products were not prohibited by federal law and could support a valid trademark because the record showed that the manufacturer’s delta-8 THC products were hemp-derived and contained less than 0.3% of delta-9 THC and therefore were lawful under 7 U.S.C.S. § 1639o(1).”) Text

United States v. Davis, 33 F.4th 1236 (9th Cir. 2022) (“The defendant’s prior drug-related conviction for under Nevada law was not sufficient to trigger the sentence enhancement under U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual §§ 2K2.1(a)(4)(A), 4B1.2(b) because a state law may only proscribe possession of drugs that are included in the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), and the CSA excludes hemp.”) Text

Free Spirit Organics, NAC v. San Joaquin Cnty. Bd. of Supervisors, No. 217CV02271KJMJDP, 2022 WL 902834 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 25, 2022) (The County’s temporary moratorium on industrial hemp cultivation was not preempted by federal or state law, because it had the authority to issue the moratorium under the California Government Code. Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ procedural due process and equal protection claims were dismissed.) Text

Gold Country Development, LLC et al. v. County of El Dorado No. 220CV01712MCECKD, 2021 WL 4443180 (E.D. Cal. Sept. 28, 2021) (Court dismissed complaint alleging constitutional rights violations when deputies destroyed thousands of hemp seedlings prior to any THC laboratory testing.) Text

Key Compounds LLC v. Phasex Corp., No. 6:20-cv-00680-AA, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164846 (D. Or. Aug. 31, 2021) (The contract at issue was not void, because it did not require either party to do anything illegal, and no contest plea of plaintiff to misdemeanor charge of exporting marijuana in crude oil for processing did not establish illegality in performance of the contract. Issue stemmed from some products unknowingly being over the THC limit. In short, product accidentally being over the THC limit doesn’t automatically make contract void for legality.) Text

Free Spirit Organics, NAC v. San Joaquin Cty. Bd. of Supervisors, 471 F. Supp. 3d 1039 (E.D. Cal. 2020) (Industrial hemp cultivators lacked standing to bring constitutional rights claims after San Joaquin County Sheriff entered and seized a hemp crop. Case closed in Free Spirit Organics, NAC v. San Joaquin Cnty. Bd. of Supervisors, No. 2:17-CV-02271-KJM-JDP, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114032 (E.D. Cal. June 27, 2022)) Text

Glass v. Glob. Widget, LLC, No. 2:19-cv-01906-MCE-KJN, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104400 (E.D. Cal. June 15, 2020) (Plaintiff was deceived by the legality of CBD. Defendants allegedly misrepresented that CBD was legal to sell. Staying CBD-related claims concerning the quantities of CBD products and regarding representation of legality of sales. FDA guidance needed to clarify.) Text

Innovative Nutraceuticals v. United States, 2019 WL 3017672 (C.D. of Cal. 2019) (Customs and Border Patrol must return hemp products seized upon importation. Other claims blocked by sovereign.) Text

Hemp Indus. Ass’n v. United States DEA, 720 F. App’x 886 (9th Cir. 2018) (Petition to review a new DEA rule that establishes a new code for marijuana extract.) Text

Kiczenski v. Gonzales, 237 F. App’x 149 (9th Cir. 2007) (Plaintiff’s First Amendment challenge to CSA failed because “his belief in hemp’s economic, social and philosophical value is not rooted in religious belief.” Plaintiff’s RFRA challenge also failed, because he was unable to demonstrate the Controlled Substances Act’s limitation on hemp cultivation would be a substantial burden on his broad ability to practice plant cultivation as a religious exercise.”) (Affirmed Ashcroft) Text

Kiczenski v. Ashcroft, No. Civ S-03-2305 MCE GGH PS., 2006 WL 463153 (E.D. Cal. Feb. 24, 2006) (Plaintiff alleges that federal government officials have thwarted his attempts to cultivate and use hemp for pain management.) Text

Hemp Industries Association v. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, 333 F.3d 1082 (9th Cir. 2003) (Plaintiffs challenge the validity of DEA rule banning the sale of consumable products containing hemp.) Text

Tenth Circuit

Serna v. Denver Police Dep’t, 58 F.4th 1167 (10th Cir. 2023) (Hemp farmer sued the police because they wouldn’t allow him to transport hemp over state lines; Contrary to Serna’s view, the language in § 10114(b) does not suggest that Congress intended to grant hemp farmers a right to freely transport their product from one jurisdiction to another, with no interference from state officials. Because courts cannot read a private cause of action into a statute that lacks such rights-creating language, the district court properly dismissed Serna’s § 10114(b) claim.) Text

Dines v. Kelly, No. 2:22-cv-02248-KHV-GEB (D. Kan. Nov. 8, 2022) (Under federal law, hemp is legal so long as it contains an amount of THC within a certain limit. However, hemp is illegal in Kansas, creating a conflict between state and federal regulation. The court here found that the Farm Act merely “removed hemp from the [ Controlled Substance Act]” to facilitate state regulation of the product. It did not create an inherent right to sell hemp.) Text

D.C. Circuit

Hemp Indus. Ass’n Botanicals, Inc. v. DEA, 457 U.S. App. D.C. 126, 36 F.4th 278 (2022) (District court dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, concluding that the Plaintiffs’ suit impermissibly challenged the DEA rule by failing to use the statutory review provision for rules promulgated under the CSA.) Text


People v. Taylor, 60 Cal. App. 5th 115, 274 Cal. Rptr. 3d 204 (2021) (Because cannabis possession is still illegal in some circumstances, possession in prison, even a “legal amount”, is still a violation of the Penal Code.) Text


People v. Cox, 2021 COA 68, 493 P.3d 914 (Trial court’s instruction on the elements of the medical marijuana defense set forth in the Colorado Constitution was proper because elements of the medical marijuana affirmative defense were prescribed by Colo. Const. art. XVIII, § 14(2)(a) and could not be supplemented by additional elements purportedly added in later-enacted Colorado statutes.) Text

Murr v. Selvage, 2018 Colo. Dist. LEXIS 749 (Defendant’s intended use of the property at issue to lease space for cultivating hemp is not considered agriculture for purposes of the covenant, and instead falls within the scope of commercial activity prohibited by covenants. Defendant’s use of property could be agriculture, but leasing the space to a third-party makes it commercial.) Text


State v. Stevenson, 307 So. 3d 784 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2020) (The court’s holding are as follows: [1]-The trial court correctly agreed with defendant’s position that he should be charged with a misdemeanor unless the State was able to establish a prima facie showing that defendant committed a felony by possessing the three vaping cartridges; [2]-The trial court correctly understood defendant could be charged with a felony only if the State could make a prima facie showing that the source of the THC substance possessed by defendant was either artificially produced, cannabis resin, or any compound manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such resin.) Text

State v. Ruise, 2020 Fla. Cir. LEXIS 14314 (Legal hemp and illegal cannabis smell the same, so odor alone constitutes probable cause for a search.) Text


Gowen v. State, 860 S.E.2d 828 (Ga. Ct. App. 2021) (Officer had probable cause to search Defendant’s vehicle for marijuana based on odor, even though hemp was legal and had a similar odor.) Text


People v. Baxton, 2020 IL App (5th) 150500, 447 Ill. Dec. 160, 172 N.E.3d 1164 (A substantive change to law in the form of an amendment to the Cannabis Control Act reclassifying an offense does not retroactively apply to a previous conviction. Defendant in this case was properly sentenced under the applicable statute at the time of the offense.) Text


Ky. Hemp Ass’n v. Quarles, 2022 Ky. Cir. LEXIS 7 (“The Court finds, adjudicates and Orders that Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, as a derivative of Hemp, and any products that contain Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol are legally compliant Hemp pursuant to KRS 260.850(5) and 7 U.S.C. 1639o(1) so long as the same contain a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”) Text

Amox v. South Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation, 2020 WL 1542341 (W.D. Ky. 2020) (Holding that because “no Kentucky statute establishes Amox’s right to use CBD oil outside of work without interference by his employer, Amox cannot maintain a wrongful termination claim” and granting summary judgment in favor of South Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation.). Text

Seum v. Bevin, No. 2017-CA-001695-MR, 2019 WL 1087331 (Ky. Ct. App. March 8, 2019) (Upholding the conclusion of Com. v. Harrelson.) Text

Lundy v. Commonwealth, 511 S.W.3d 398 (Ky. Ct. App. 2017) (Defendant not entitled to a jury definition defining industrial hemp unless defendant was a licensed grower or was otherwise permitted to possess industrial hemp.) Text

Com. v. Harrelson, 14 S.W.3d 541 (Ky. 2000) (Upholding the constitutionality of Kentucky’s marijuana and hemp prohibition laws.) Text


Valley Green Grow, Inc. v. Town of Charlton, 99 Mass. App. Ct. 670, 173 N.E.3d 395 (2021) (A commercial greenhouse for marijuana cultivation was an “agricultural activity,” and the proposed cogeneration, processing, and manufacturing facilities were “reasonably related accessory uses,” so the establishment was allowed in the agricultural zoning district.) Text

Commonwealth v. Richardson, 479 Mass. 344, 94 N.E.3d 819 (2018) (Judge’s instructions could have led the jury to convict, even if the defendant was unintentionally cultivating more plants than necessary, as the experts’ testimony as to yield was based primarily on a single photograph. The district court erred in convicting defendant of unlawful cultivation of marijuana under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 94C, § 32C.) Text

Hensley v. Attorney General, 53 N.E.3d 639 (2016) (Finding that the initiative petition which proposed an act to regulate and tax marijuana and hemp satisfied the related subjects’ requirement but was clearly misleading.) Text


Brightmoore Gardens, LLC v. Marijuana Regulatory Agency, 337 Mich. App. 149, 975 N.W.2d 52 (2021) (The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act gives a municipality the right to opt out of the act’s provision for the legal production and sale of marijuana by enacting an ordinance prohibiting marijuana establishments within the municipality; the emergency rules of the Marijuana Regulatory Agency effectuate this provision by permitting municipalities to opt out or regulate marijuana establishments during the 90­-day window in which the agency considers an application for a license for a marijuana establishment. Cities involved in this case refused to sign attestation forms pending the passage of new prohibitive ordinances. “An agency’s legislative rule may be determined to be invalid when the rule goes beyond the parameters of the enabling statute, when the rule does not comply with the legislative intent underlying the enabling statute, or when the rule is arbitrary or capricious.”) Text

People v. Mansour, 325 Mich. App. 339 (2018) (Reaffirming that the definition of marijuana does not include industrial hemp.) Text

People v. Ventura, 894 N.W.2d 108 (Mich. App. 2016) (Determining that the definition of marijuana does not include industrial hemp.) Text


State v. Wright, 588 N.W.2d 166 (Minn. Ct. App. 1998) (Defendant challenged his conviction, contending that Minn. Stat. § 152.023, subd. 1(5) (1996), violated Minn. Const. art. 13, § 7, which permitted a farmer to sell or peddle his products without obtaining a license. The appeals court disagreed. The right to sell or peddle farm products was not a fundamental liberty, requiring constitutional protections. Moreover, the state’s marijuana laws were a reasonable, non-arbitrary exercise of its police power.) Text


Montana Cannabis Industry Ass’n v. State, 368 P.3d 1131 (Mont. 2016) (Affirming the constitutionality of certain provisions of the 2011 Montana Medical Marijuana Act.) Text

North Carolina

State v. Parker, 2021-NCCOA-217, 860 S.E.2d 21, appeal dismissed, review denied, 860 S.E.2d 917 (N.C. 2021) (Officer had probable cause to conduct search of defendant’s vehicle during course of traffic stop for marijuana based on the odor, despite the fact that hemp and marijuana look the same and have the same odor, both burned and unburned.) Text


State v. Karim, 323 Or. App. 25, 522 P.3d 24 (2022) (Appellate court agreed with the parties that, as a matter of statutory construction, industrial hemp is not a “marijuana item” for purposes of Or. Rev. Stat. § 811.482. Because trial court mis-instructed itself on the law in finding defendant guilty of use of marijuana in a motor vehicle, appellate court reversed the judgment.) Text


State v. Fredrickson, No. M2015-01206-CCA-R3-CD, 2016 WL 5540022 (Tenn. Crim. App. Sept 29, 2016) (Concluding that if industrial hemp was grown without a license it was classified as marijuana under state law.) Text


State v. Fredrickson, No. M2015-01206-CCA-R3-CD, 2016 WL 5540022 (Tenn. Crim. App. Sept 29, 2016) (Concluding that if industrial hemp was grown without a license it was classified as marijuana under state law.) Text

Texas Dep’t of State Health Servs. v. Crown Distrib. LLC, 647 S.W.3d 648 (Tex. 2022) (Hemp companies’ interest in manufacturing or processing smokable hemp products was not protected by the due-course clause of the Texas Constitution. “[T]he manufacture and processing of smokable hemp products is . . . ‘purely a personal privilege’ that the people’s elected representatives in the legislature may grant or withdraw as they see .”) Text

Texas Dep’t of State Health Servs. v. Crown Distrib. LLC, No. 03-20-00463-CV, 2021 WL 3411551 (Tex. App. Aug. 5, 2021) (Texas law prohibiting the processing or manufacturing of a consumable hemp product for smoking does not prohibit the distribution or sale of a consumable hemp product for smoking. Thus, the Texas Department of State Health Services’ rule banning the distribution and retail sale of such products imposes additional burdens in excess of the relevant statutory provisions. Text


Thompson v. Commonwealth, 73 Va. App. 721, 865 S.E.2d 434 (2021) (State doesn’t have the burden to prove THC concentration of a substance, because hemp is an exemption under statutory scheme. The defendant bears the burden of proving applicability of exemptions.) Text