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Judge hears preliminary arguments against Act 629


Judge hears preliminary arguments against Act 629

Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Billy Roy Wilson in Little Rock heard preliminary oral arguments to strike down Act 629, a law that bans certain hemp products that contain the delta THC compound. Four hemp business owners filed suit in late July to strike down the law.

Earlier this month, Attorney General Tim Griffin filed a motion requesting the injunctive lawsuit be dismissed. Judge Wilson agreed to hear testimony from state attorneys and businesses impacted by the ban. 

Ozarks CBD hemp farmer Bill Morgan who operates BioGen LLC reportedly testified that he was advised by the Arkansas industrial hemp program manager to conduct business as usual. 

Conversely, an Arkansas vape store franchise owner testified that state enforcement authorities ordered one of her store managers to remove tens of thousands of dollars of CBD and Delta products from store shelves.

Little Rock attorney Abtin Mehdizadegan is representing the plaintiffs, he said such testimony proves that Act 629 is vaguely written.

“And we don't really know the full extent of what this statute is intended to do or how it's being applied," Mehdizadegan said. "We know already that the enforcement of Act 629 has been uneven and we've seen, and the plaintiffs will demonstrate that the law enforcement community and certainly the science community doesn't quite understand what Act 629 even means as it relates to the term hemp because Arkansas has changed its definition.”

He argues that Act 629 changes the federal definition of hemp and also violates the supremacy and commerce clauses of the U.S. Constitution. A ruling from Judge Wilson is still pending.

Fort Smith International Film Festival winners

The Fort Smith International Film Festival is awarding the Best Overall Film prize to “Cover Your Ears”, a documentary about censorship and punk rock. The Best of the River Valley prize was awarded to “Somewhere in Nowhere”, a horror film directed by Tanner McChristian. The in-person festival concluded Saturday night.

Razorback soccer's visit to Notre Dame ends in draw

The 10th-ranked Razorback soccer team is now 2-0-1 after tying No. 12 Notre Dame 2-2 in South Bend yesterday. The Razorbacks are home Thursday, hosting Milwaukee.

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Jacqueline Froelich is an investigative reporter and news producer for <i>Ozarks at Large.</i>
Matthew Moore is senior producer for Ozarks at Large.
Kyle Kellams is KUAF's news director and host of Ozarks at Large.
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