Pot in a hemp truck? Possibly, police say

Ron Musselman
York Dispatch
Hemp fiber in a 1994 file image. (Geraldine Wilkins/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

A vehicle used for transporting hemp products was stopped for an equipment violation last month in Chanceford Township and a small amount of suspected marijuana was in found in the bed of the pickup truck, police said.

The vehicle, a 1996 Chevrolet, was stopped Dec. 3 along Gipe Road, and the potential pot was in plain view in a glass jar, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

The substance was sent to a lab for testing, and the investigation is ongoing, police stated.

Anyone with information related to the incident is asked to contact state police at the York station at 717-428-1011.

Hemp was used for up to 25,000 different commercial products, including textiles, furniture, automobiles, food and beverages and more, according to the Congressional Research Service. 

Although derived from the marijuana plant, hemp contains minuscule amounts — less than 0.3% — of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive drug that gives users a high. 

Hemp was a lucrative industry in Pennsylvania until wool and tobacco gained popularity, but in 1907 Hanover helped revitalize its commercial viability, mostly producing hemp for the Hanover Cordage Co.

Congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, which made it nearly impossible to grow industrial hemp by slapping excessive taxes on marijuana and later criminalizing both in totality.

Seventy-seven years later, Congress passed the 2014 Omnibus Farm Bill, which allowed states to issue research permits for farmers to cultivate and research hemp legally.

Gov. Tom Wolf signed the Industrial Hemp Research Act in 2016, which let the state start its own Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program that was officially implemented in 2017.

A year later, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the industrial growth and cultivation of hemp nationwide.

— Staff writer Logan Hullinger contributed to this report.

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