Oren Levy said he was forced to borrow money from family to stay afloat after product was confiscated
It’s a Christmas miracle.
Police had proudly posed with the massive seizure in a photo on Twitter before realizing the US$20,000 haul was not marijuana, but its non-intoxicating cousin, hemp. Now, they seem to be in the giving (back) spirit)
The tweet has since been deleted and all charges against owner Oren Levy and his brother Ronen have been dropped. “We got everything back,” Oren Levy told the New York Post after his brother picked up the haul from the New York Police Department’s Queens narcotics lock-up. “They actually sealed it normally. I was surprised.”
Levy, who said the incident forced him to borrow money from family to keep his business afloat, blamed an overeager FedEx driver for diverting his delivery to New York’s 75th Precinct, where police failed to properly identify the legal shipment. The product — which contains only 0.14 percent THC (far less than the 0.3 percent allowed by U.S. federal law) — will need to be tested for safety precautions.
“It’s completely dried up, that’s for sure,” said Levy. “I’ll have to send it out to labs to get it checked for bacteria, mould, all that stuff.”
David Holland, a lawyer who advocates for the legalization of cannabis, was disappointed, but not surprised, by the incident. “The bottom line is as long as all the load has less than 0.3 percent (THC) it’s legal under the federal farm bill and, therefore, legal in New York State,” Holland said.
“It’s not surprising that their (the NYPD’s) antiquated testing would still show positive for THC. But the presence of THC is no longer the line of demarcation as to whether a crime is committed or not because it will come up positive. It’s whether it’s over 0.3 percent of THC by volume,” he added.
Police also returned a stash of paperwork proving the delivery contained legal hemp despite earlier claiming those documents weren’t part of the shipment, Levy reported.
The documentation will likely bolster the US$10 million lawsuit the proprietor has filed against the city. “I hope the mayor’s office will take disciplinary actions on those who misled the (district attorney),” Levy said. “A few bad apples ruined the bunch and made the NYPD look bad. I hope the NYPD gets more training on CBD,” he said.
“I don’t want this happening to anybody else.”
Written by David Yasvinski