A Pekin man said he would appeal if a Creve Coeur hearing officer found him guilty of possessing industrial hemp that he legally bought at a Pekin vape shop.

That happened this week to Cody Mammen, 28, whom police cited for possessing cannabis that reportedly contains less than the minimum 0.3 percent per weight of THC, marijuana’s active ingredient. The low level is permitted for sale under federal law.

Creve Coeur’s ordinance was written prior to the federal Agricultural Act of 2014 and THC at any level remains illegal in the village, said Police Chief Dale King. Hearing Officer Tom Higgins agreed in Mammen’s case Wednesday, King said.

Mammen was found possessing a vial containing six grams of industrial hemp, also known as CBD, on March 11, several days after he bought it at the Half Vaped shop on Derby Street in Pekin. The business bills itself as a “hemporium.”

Owner Tricia Leah said city police are well aware she sells it as a pain and anxiety reliever. “It works amazingly well,” Mammen said shortly after he was cited. 

The Illinois Department of Agriculture currently is exploring how farmers can grow and market the low-level hemp for a wide variety of commercial uses.

Still, King said, “It smelled like cannabis, it looked like cannabis, it tested positive” for THC. It is cannabis, Leah countered, “but it’s not marijuana.”

The village police department determined the material contained THC in a field test, but not how much, King said. It will be submitted for laboratory testing if Mammen appeals his guilty verdict to the Tazewell County Circuit Court, he said.

Mammen has 35 days to do so from the date of his hearing. He could not be reached for comment after the hearing on his previous statement of intention to appeal. 

Higgins also was unavailable to report the amount of the village fine, which ranges between $25 and $750, that he leveled against Mammen.