Hemp farmer to lose millions if seized samples aren't recovered soon
Chattanooga Police tell NewsChannel 9 that officers were never in possession of Taylor Smith's samples. A police department spokeswoman says they were recently contacted by FedEx about a different hemp shipment, but it didn't originate from Smith's business. Police are working with the Hamilton County DA's office to get this sample tested.
Taylor Smith says a Friday shipment of hemp samples was seized, and has not been returned since. Smith is the owner of H3 Research Hemp Farm in South Carolina, and sends her products to Chattanooga testing facility New Bloom Labs to have hemp samples tested for THC levels. But the package sent on Friday never reached its destination.
"I was told that law enforcement had seized the box and that I needed to contact them in order to get it back."
All she knew is that her package never made it to its destination, when she checked for updates on tracking through FedEx.
Smith says FedEx called and had the package seized because it violated the FedEx shipping policy, which lists under prohibited items:
"Hemp plants, hemp leaves, hemp oil, hemp seed oil and CBD derived from hemp."
Smith tells us she has always used FedEx without any problems, and was unaware her samples were prohibited. Every time using Chattanooga testing facility, New Bloom Labs.
"Our role is to monitor the potency to make sure that our local hemp producers remain compliant."
As long as the THC levels are .03 or lower, hemp is compliant with regulations, something the lab's CEO John Kerns says happens most of the time. Kerns also says the lab receives mail from every major carrier, but still has not seen or tested the most recent samples sent from Smith.
Chattanooga Police say they never held up Smith's package. (Note: We originally reported that CPD seized Smith's package, but a police spokesperson says they never had this shipment. Their investigators are in possession of a different hemp shipment from a different sender, flagged by FedEx, that they are working with the Hamilton County District Attorney's Office to test.) As of now, the South Carolina farmer still does not know where her samples are.