Would-be weed thieves are presumably experiencing a harsh bout of disappointment after mistakenly targeting America’s vast network of newly-minted hemp farms, thinking they’re full-strength THC harvests.
According to a new report from KOMO News, one Washington farmer has been hit by this year’s hemp theft trend to the tune of $70,000. Since the low-THC hemp plants look and smell just like they’re intoxicating cousin, Matthew Morrell’s Franklin County farm has been trespassed so frequently that he has had to hire an outside security service to patrol his fields.
“We started off with a few plants here and there getting pulled, and it's gradually just ramped up kind of out of control to where last night [Sunday], we had people that were armed getting out of vehicles to come steal plants,” Morrell said.
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During this year’s first fully legal fall hemp harvest across the US, farmers from New York to New Mexico have reported frequent theft of their crops. But despite the rampant robberies, farmers and cops are confident that the theft is all a case of mistaken botanical identity.
“People are going to be stupid and go out and try to steal it and get high with it, and it’s not going to happen,” Franklin County Sheriff Jim Raymond said.
But even without the telltale signs of a THC pot grow like heightened security, hidden fields, and constant surveillance, thieves repeatedly think they’ve hit ganja gold mines. Instead, it’s more like stealing soybeans.
“They think it's something that it isn't, and that's why they're doing what they're doing,” Morrell told KOMO. “It’s just a standard crop like corn or wheat or alfalfa or anything else now.”
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