500 pounds, 50 hemp plants cut and removed during overnight hours
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food &Markets (VAAFM) was notified of a hemp crop theft that occurred on Pony Farm Road in Moretown.
In the early morning hours of Monday Sept. 7, the hemp field of Fancy Plants adjacent to Austin Heights Road was accessed by unknown individuals who cut down and removed 50 hemp plants. Signage was visible at the field indicating that the crop was Hemp/CBD.
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 50 plants comprised the entire hemp crop of the Fancy Plants business.
The cultivation of hemp has been legal in the state of Vermont for several years. Hemp farmers have experienced theft in previous seasons at harvest time, and this year now appears to be similar. 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.
VAAFM is recommending that hemp farmers take care to protect their crops and report thefts when they occur to the Hemp Program and to law enforcement. Some options include installing fencing, motion activated lights and cameras and no-trespassing signs saying “This property is under video surveillance.”