A federal judge considering a case that could legalize industrial hemp crops in North Dakota said he’ll make a decision by the end of the month.

U.S. District Judge Dan Hovland challenged several arguments offered by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency during Wednesday’s court hearing, including its lawyer’s contention that Hovland shouldn’t even hear the case.

“This court certainly does have jurisdiction,” Hovland told DEA’s attorney, Wendy Ertmer.

But Hovland also told the North Dakota farmers who want to grow hemp that they might find legislation in Congress a better route.

The hearing was on DEA’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit that two North Dakota farmers filed against the DEA in June. David Monson of Osnabrock and Wayne Hauge of Ray want a federal judge to declare that they can’t be prosecuted for growing industrial hemp because they are following state laws to legally grow it.

The latest state law to be passed says North Dakota farmers do not need DEA’s permission to grow hemp.

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