A black farmer was tending to his industrial hemp crop before sunrise on Sep. 4. Demarkius Medley had the headlights on his car shining onto his rows of hemp so he could see what he was trimming. The owner of the Shady Hill Saloon across the street called the police, not knowing who was in the field.
Two police officers arrived to the urban aquaponics farm on Monmouth Boulevard. “We first had a couple officers get there and then they called back in saying they had cannabis plants. We had the supervisor and two other officers come en route. At that point we didn’t know what we were looking at and thought maybe we had a cannabis grow,” explained Galesburg Police Chief Russ Idle.
What they found was not cannabis. Although it may look and smell like the THC containing, soon to be legal, plant, industrial hemp contains less than .3% THC. Medley was surprised the officers would think he would grow cannabis out in the open in the middle of the city. “As the officers exited their vehicles, they’re walking up with their hands on their holsters. So now I’m scared,” explained Medley.
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