A Vermont farmer woke Monday morning to find his entire hemp crop stolen, all 50 plants sheared off at the base of the stem.
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) reports the theft occurred in the early morning hours of Sept. 7 at the Fancy Plants farm near Moretown. There was signage at the field indicating the crop was hemp being grown for CBD, according to the agency.
“The theft appears to have been premeditated and involve more than one individual, utilizing shearing tools and large vehicles to remove the 500 pounds of hemp,” the agency said in a press release. “The 50 plants comprised the entire hemp crop of the Fancy Plants business.”
The crop was valued at $6,000 according to a report filed with the Vermont State Police.
VAAFM notes that hemp thefts at harvest time have occurred in previous seasons and urges growers to take precautions such as “installing appropriate fencing, motion activated lights and cameras like trail cameras, and no-trespassing signs that include a statement that the crop is industrial hemp.”
Rules governing the production and sale of hemp in Vermont are designed to make the sale of the stolen product more difficult according to VAAFM.
“In Vermont, only registrants of the Hemp Program are legally able to possess hemp crops in registered locations or to sell hemp crops in the marketplace accompanied by appropriate documentation including test results that show compliance with the Vermont Hemp Rules,” the agency noted in the release about the theft.