A lawyer for the Vermont Hemp Company says a lawsuit filed by a woman who claims the business took her crop is “unfounded” and will be dealt with in court.
“There were no guarantees with respect to definitive timelines, whether the crop could be sold at a profit or whether the crop could be sold at all,” wrote attorney Erin Miller Heins in a response posted on Vermont Hemp’s Facebook page. “Obviously, the ability to sell into the marketplace depends on market demand and the quality of the harvested crop, variables that are often unknown [at] the time of planting.”
Cynthea Hausman filed a suit last month alleging that the company's founder, Joel Bedard, guaranteed she’d make at least $45,000 on the sale of seven acres of hemp she grew on her family farm in Addison. Instead, she alleges, the company harvested the crop in late October and has yet to pay her any money. Hausman also claims she’s asked the company to return her hemp so she can sell it herself.
She has said she needs the money to save the family farm in honor of her ailing mother, who has dementia and lung disease and is currently in hospice care. The farm is in foreclosure proceedings and Hausman's half-sister started a GoFundMe page to raise cash to pay the bank.
Courtesy of Cynthea Hausman
Cynthea and her mother, Madelyne Wight
"All they have to do is what they said they were going to do — sell and pay me," Hausman previously told Seven Days. "That's the contract, and then it's over."
But the company, in its statement, denied any monetary guarantee and says it still plans to sell the crop “when there is sufficient market demand.” Heins’ statement says the company has even offered to return Hausman’s crop but has yet to hear back from her.
“Our position is clear,” the company wrote on its Facebook page. “If we are to have a new economy based upon commercial cannabis agriculture, then we have to get used to things like contracts and taxes and compliance.”
Bedard declined to comment further. Heins said she planned to file a response to the suit by the end of this week.