Portugal: Judicial Police forced to return 40kg of industrial hemp flowers



The Judiciary Police (PJ) was forced this morning to return 40 kg of industrial hemp flowers to Patrick martins, president of ACCIP – Association of Industrial Hemp Merchants of Portugal, who is also a merchant and owner of the Green Swallow cannabis store franchise. Patrick had been arrested on July 2, 2020 and most of his store's products seized. After a struggle of more than two years in justice, the courts have now come to Patrick's right, forcing the PJ to return the seized hemp flowers. 

It is a “historic” and symbolic day for the hemp industry in Portugal, and the final point in a long process in Portuguese justice, which involved the trade in industrial hemp flowers. According to a video released today by Humberto Nogueira, vice-president of ACCIP - Association of Hemp Merchants of Portugal, the return of industrial hemp flowers took place today at the premises of the Judiciary Police (PJ) in Lisbon, after they were seized in July. of 2020.

“It is a historic day for industrial hemp and for the players in the hemp sector in Portugal”, says Humberto Nogueira in the video he shared on social media. The video was recorded at the entrance of the Judiciary Police facilities in Lisbon. The vice-president of the ACCIP anticipated that, in a few moments, the return of 40 kilos of industrial hemp flowers, “wrongly seized”, would take place. Afterwards, it is possible to see the return of several boxes and bags on a cart, at which point Nogueira explains that the flowers refer to the case of the Chairman of the Board of ACCIP, Patrick Martins. Humberto Nogueira also clarified that the accusation of drug trafficking, which has been going on for three years (sic), “was hemp after all”.


The cold case of Patrick Martins, President of ACCIP

Patrick Martins was visited by the PSP - Public Security Police - on July 2, 2020 at his store, Green Swallow, and automatically constituted a defendant for the crime of "drug trafficking". Most of the stock was seized. He was granted a term of identity and residence, with mandatory presentations twice a week and prevented from leaving his residence in Lisbon “for more than 5 days, without communicating the place where he can be found in the country”. At the time, Patrick lived most of the time with his wife in London, which ended up causing him unprecedented inconvenience, both personally and professionally, as he was forced to stay in Portugal for more than 18 months, without exit authorization.

The investigation in which Patrick Martins was accused of the alleged “crime of drug trafficking” was closed by the Criminal Investigation Judge, Carlos Alexandre. The Public Ministry had 30 days to appeal the decision, but did not.

Na instructive decision, handed down more than 20 months after the seizure, Judge Carlos Alexandre cited European legislation and the 0,2% THC limit allowed in industrial hemp.

Despite this case being filed, Patrick Martins did not give up on recovering his merchandise, which would end up being confirmed today. Cannareporter contacted PJ and Patrick's lawyer, João Nabais, but has not yet received a response.