At the price of $70 for 14 grams, the cannabis that Creve Coeur police found on Cody Mammen this week was costly enough. Now he could be fined for having it.

“That’s not fair,” said Tricia Leah, because the hemp he bought from her Pekin vape store is legal.

“That’s why we have court dates,” said village Police Chief Dale King. 

Mammen, 28, of Pekin, will have his at the police station on April 24, when a village hearing officer will consider the citation for possessing cannabis that he was issued early Monday. Leah said she’ll be there for him.

She’ll bring documents showing that Mammen bought a supply of the industrial hemp that her Half Vaped shop on Derby Street touts as a pain and anxiety reliever.

Industrial hemp, which contains less than the minimum 0.3 percent per weight of THC, marijuana’s active ingredient, is legal under federal law. The Illinois Department of Agriculture currently is exploring how farmers can grow and market it for a wide variety of commercial uses.

Leah said the hemp’s low THC “is just enough to create an entourage effect” by working with “the body’s endo-cannabinoid system to restore balance.”

“It works amazingly well,” Mammen said. “It relieves anxiety so I don’t have to take Xanax or something else” that can produce addiction.

King said his officers did their duty when, after stopping Mammen as he walked along Fischer Road at 2 a.m., they found him carrying a small glass jar containing six grams of dried, deep green buds. They issued him a ticket and sent him on his way. 

The officers didn’t field test the material they confiscated until the next day. Still, “It smelled like cannabis, it looked like cannabis, it tested positive” for THC, King said.

“It smells and looks like cannabis because it is cannabis,” Leah said, “but it’s not marijuana.” 

Mammen said the jar, labeled “CBD Flower,” came from the vape shop. The officers, he said, refused his request to field-test the material when they found it.

Leah said that since she began selling industrial hemp about three months ago, “We’ve not had any issues at all” with the Pekin Police Department, which knows of its presence. Her store’s window sign invites customers into her “Hemporium.”

Mammen is the first customer to have trouble with any police department that she knows of, she said. Each hemp buyer is given a paper containing a “Notice to law enforcement authorities” and stating the product “is in compliance with the Agricultural Act of 2014.”

Mammen said the officers didn’t take up his request to look for the paper in the book bag he carried. King said they stopped him after a woman reported that he had been knocking on her door. He was not cited in connection with that complaint.

Mammen hopes the hearing brings to the issue of legal and illegal cannabis in Creve Coeur. 

If it instead produces a fine of between $25 and $750, “I’m going to fight it.”