NEW HAVEN, Vt. (WAND) – Farmers in Vermont are calling foul after New York City Police celebrated a 106-pound seizure of what they believe is marijuana.
The farmers say the plant is legally grown hemp.
NYPD posted a photo of officers in front of the drugs saying, “great job.” The post also goes on to say the officers arrested person who was receiving the delivery.
However, Fox Holler farms in New Haven said in their own Facebook post that the packages were “100% hemp” from a crop that was in compliance with Vermont, New York and federal laws.
"We are farmers, not criminals," the post read.
The farm said they’ve worked all summer to grow the compliant crop to harvest hemp for CBD products, which advocates say offers a calming effect without the intoxication of THC.
When the farm shipped nine boxes of their hemp to a CBD shop in New York police moved in to seize it. NYPD said they got a tip believing the shipment contained marijuana.
Once the photo of the officers smiling with the "marijuana" was posted to Facebook, Fox Holler Farms owner Jahala Dudley was flabbergasted.
"I'm looking at it. It's the stuff you see in movies," Dudley told WPTZ-TV. "Like, these two cops are holding our hemp, like it's an awesome drug bust! This is hemp!"
Dudley said she spoke to one of the detectives on the phone and they seemed unaware of the difference between marijuana, which is illegal under federal law, and its cannabis cousin, hemp.
A person looking at packaged hemp "can't tell the difference" she said. "Genetically it's a very similar plant. I'm not blaming anyone for that. But the paperwork was there. We've had it all tested."
Agriculture leaders in Vermont have reached out to officials in New York to try to straighten out the issue, but so far, NYPD hasn't commented on what they call an active investigation.