A first-time hemp farmer from Alberta has reported that people are stealing his crop, likely believing it’s cannabis they’re taking.
Lory Betchuk previously grew more traditional crops like wheat, barley, and oats but recently turned his hand to cultivating hemp.
Hemp is derived from the same plant as cannabis or weed as its more commonly known. However, hemp contains virtually no psychoactive effects and does not cause people to get high.
In more technical terms, hemp has lower concentrations of THC and higher levels of cannabidiol (CBD), which decreases or eliminates its psychoactive ability.
Instead, it can be used to make an amazingly large variety of products, including rope, paper, textiles, clothing, bioplastics, insulation, and biofuel.
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Its reportedly been harvested for centuries and was used as far back as 50 000 years ago to make fiber.
People are stealing bagfuls of hemp
That however has not stopped people from raiding Mr. Betchuk’s crops. His farm is not fenced off – which should perhaps be a hint that it’s not marijuana that is being grown. He’s also put up a sign saying “This is my hemp!! Stop stealing it!”
But still, people are helping themselves to armfuls and even bagfuls.
“My guess is that they don’t know it’s hemp, they’re probably guessing its cannabis,” said Mr. Betchuk. “It’s not cannabis.”
“I pity the people who are taking this and trying to get high because they’re going to have one heck of a headache,” said David van der Leek, a local resident.
Mr. Betchuk’s farm is among the first in the area and it’s not surprising that so many have noticed it.
People wanting to cultivate it have to undergo a criminal record check in order to produce and import the plant.
In the United States, hemp has been legal under federal law only since December 2018 when The Hemp Farming Act was created, changing the crop from a controlled substance to an agricultural commodity.
A handful of states however still consider it illegal to grow the plant.
Image Credit: stokkete