It’s fall in Elkhart County, Indiana. As the hemp that farmers have worked all season to grow gets ready for harvest, some of their crop is going missing. Thieves who have mistaken the farmers’ fields for marijuana growing wild are sneaking onto their properties late at night and stealing the hemp.
The hemp that they are stealing is bred to meet the federal standards for hemp, and contain less than 0.3% THC. So the perpetrators won’t be able to enjoy any of the psychoactive benefits of the plant they think they are stealing. Instead, they are taking away the livelihood of farmers who have labored long and hard to get a legal crop to harvest. They are already fighting a tough landscape. Hemp is a new crop and the best methods to grow it are still being established. Farmers should be fighting to learn more about these plants, not securing their crops from hoodlums in the night.
The thieves are also at great risk for little reward. Once they find themselves in possession of so much hemp, and once they realize they won’t be able to get high off of it, they have little to no recourse to sell it.
They are, however, still on the hook for a considerable felony. Any crime consisting of theft over $750 is a felony. With one hemp plant being worth upwards of a thousand dollars, it doesn’t take a large blunder to get yourself in huge trouble. They are also on the hook for cannabis possession, as a typical thief wouldn’t have the license required to handle large quantities of hemp.
Despite the lack of reward, the theft of hemp is still on the rise. This trend will continue as long as there are citizens who are ignorant of the plant’s true identity.