Hemp firm CEO detained in Florida for carrying lotion, shampoo

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Cannabis activist and hemp entrepreneur Hana Gabrielova was detained and fined $500 in Florida yesterday for being in possession of hemp-based shampoo and lotion.

Gabrielova, a Czech citizen and CEO at Jihlava, Czech-based Hempoint s.r.o., was singled out and detained after a sniffer dog alerted authorities to her luggage upon arrival to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, she told HempToday.

3-hour detention

U.S. Customs & Border Protection agents detained her for three hours, Gabrielova said. They issued the fine after they claimed analysis showed the presence of THC in lotion Gabrielova picked up in California and a Czech made shampoo she’d carried with her on a business trip to South America after flying from California. The officers did not indicate how much THC their test showed, only saying the analysis was “positive,” Gabrielova said.

“I asked them many times to cite the law the fine was based on,” Gabrielova said. “They couldn’t do it. They just kept saying THC is an illegal substance to import. So I got fined for the illegal import of THC in shampoo and lotion.”

Getting off easy?

In the end, agents told Gabrielova they were letting her off easy, as the maximum fine for such an offense is $5,000.

“They made me out to be a criminal for using hemp shampoo. That’s insane,” she said. “They took the CBD-only cream which works for my eczema, as well as the shampoo.”

FAAAT report scrutinized

Agents also closely scrutinized Gabrielova’s papers related to her work on a major upcoming report, “Cannabis and Sustainable Development,” by FAAAT, a Europe-based think tank and advocacy group. FAAAT announced the project at an International Cannabis Policy Conference in Vienna last December.

“After the signing of the Farm Bill in the U.S. everybody thinks the war on cannabis is over,” Gabrielova said of measures in the federal legislation enacted last month that made hemp a normal crop like wheat or corn. “But it’s not. There’s still a lot of institutional ignorance — and paradox out there.”

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