Farmers on alert after thieves steal their hemp plants

New London

NORTH STONINGTON, Conn. (WTNH)– The back fence at Better Together Connecticut‘s hemp farm has now been repaired.

“It was cut open so he repaired it and put a second layer,” said Dr. Stefana Pecher, who showed News 8 where thieves cut through the fence to get to her hemp plants.

“It was so like kind of heartbreaking,” said Dr. Pecher.

She and her team put a lot of hard work into this new venture.

“It’s countless hours of labor and I think people don’t realize that,” said Pecher.

She says one of the workers was doing an early Monday morning patrol at the North Stonington farm when he discovered the damage.

“Just a monstrous scene where a lot of plants were ripped out,” explained Dr. Pecher. “Some were left there, some were trampled, some were chopped randomly.”

These types of thefts have been happening around the state. Four people were arrested for stealing hemp plants in Simsbury, while in East Windsor police are investigating thefts at farms there.

Related: 100 hemp plants stolen in Simsbury

“It just adds an additional level of stress,” Dr. Pecher said with a laugh. “I never thought I’d be sleeping in the field.”

At the North Stonington farm it appears the thieves were interrupted before they could make a clean getaway.

“They actually were so interrupted that they left three tools with fingerprints,” said Dr. Pecher.

The hemp plants which are used to produce CBD oil are very valuable but unlike with marijuana plants the one thing thieves who steal hemp buds won’t get is high.

“Less than .3 percent is what’s mandated but I think the maximum plants like this reach if you were to let them go is maybe a point higher,” said Dr. Pecher. “So it’s not like you’re getting some massive THC production ever.”

The plants are expected to be ready for harvest by early October and until then Dr. Pecher may be spending some more nights there just to make sure the rest of the crops are safe.

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