Hearing Scheduled Over Kern County Hemp Dispute

Six months ago, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant on a property in Arvin, where it discovered—and promptly destroyed—459 acres of marijuana. But the owners of the property, Apothio LLC, say it was actually hemp that they were entitled to grow as a federally recognized agricultural research organization. Now, they’re taking the sheriff’s department to court.

A hearing has been scheduled for April 30. Judge J. Eric Bradshaw will hear the plaintiff’s motion requesting release of the warrant information. They want to know why sheriff’s officials suspected the plants were marijuana and why the plants were destroyed.

A legal case appears to be the only way the public will get that information.

“The Sheriff’s Office declined to provide information about the search warrant or give the legal basis on which Apothio's crop was destroyed,” Bakersfield.com reports. “It said by email Thursday night that disclosure of such information ‘would endanger the successful completion of the investigation or a related investigation.’”


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