Colorado man accused of delivering 292 pounds of hemp through South Dakota

Local News

Kadoka, S.D. (KELO) — A grand jury has indicted a Colorado man accused of delivering hemp to Minnesota. This past summer, Robert Herzberg was stopped for speeding in western KELOLAND. That’s when a state trooper discovered the hemp.

It’s an issue that goes back to South Dakota’s last legislative session when Governor Kristi Noem vetoed a bill to legalize industrial hemp.

“What we have here is, we have no law in South Dakota that formally legalizes hemp. It defines marijuana and the law defines what hashing is as well,” defense attorney Matt Kinney said.

Creating a problem for South Dakota’s law enforcement, such as in the arrest of Robert Herzberg.

“The trooper detected an odor that, throughout his training experience was consistent with that of marijuana and a subsequent search of the vehicle, discovered approximately 292 pounds of a product that the driver asserts as hemp but there is still a big question as to whether that is,” Van Gorp said.

Herzberg was allegedly delivering the hemp from Colorado to Minnesota.

“So in the 2018 Farm Bill, United States Congress passed a law in provision that has prohibited states and tribes from impeding or stopping or prosecuting anyone that’s transporting legal hemp,” Kinney said.

Kinney says that legal hemp is defined in the 2018 Farm Bill as cannabis products that have less than .3 percent of THC.

Kinney said that his defendant will be pleading not guilty at his arraignment on November 6.

“Even if they prove that it doesn’t meet the federal definition of hemp. I believe that they have to prove to a jury that Mr. Herzberg had knowledge that he was transporting an illegal product which at all times he believed that he was transporting hemp,” Kinney said.

“It’s still an ongoing case there’s still the right of a defendant with a presumption of innocence, there’s still an investigation going on and facts are still being gathered,” Van Gorp said.

Prosecutors say that the state hired a lab to test the hemp. Some results showed above the point 3 percent THC level and some below that level.

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