Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Hefty reward offered in hemp theft

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

CHRISTIANSBURG — After burglars made off with enough hemp over the past week to result in a six-figure loss, a Christiansburg producer decided it was time to offer up a reward.

John Straw, manager of Tru Harvest Farms in Christiansburg, said the business is offering a $50,000 reward to anyone who can provide information leading to the conviction of the person or persons who made off with over 100 pounds of one variety of hemp flowers.

Straw said the business was first hit around Monday, Jan. 11, and again early this past Monday. He feels sure the culprits in both burglaries are the same because their method of making entry to the building, the product stolen, and other evidence in the thefts are identical.

He believes multiple suspects may be involved, but only one person entered the building each time. In both instances the suspect forced entry through the back door to the business and then multiple other doors to reach the species of hemp flower that was stolen.

In the first burglary, they made off with 60 pounds of one particular variety of hemp flowers and in the second instance they made off with the remaining 50 pounds of that same variety.

The variety stolen is legal to smoke in Virginia, just like there are other varieties and forms of CBD (cannabidiol) hemp that are legally available. The product is often used medicinally and does not get one high like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in marijuana.

“We had about 10 different kinds in there, but they cleaned us out on that variety,” he said. The suspect may not have initially been aware there is no high produced from the product, but, Straw said, they certainly should have realized it by the time the second burglary occurred if they were using it.

The value of the missing product is in excess of $200,000, according to Straw.

When the business first opened in the spring of 2019, it experienced some problems with people stealing hemp from its fields, but there had been no other thefts until recently. This is the first time the building has been burglarized.

The product in storage, including what was stolen, was grown last season.

Anyone having information on the burglaries should call Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at 540-382-4343 or Straw at 276-698-0660. Callers can remain anonymous.

Comments

comments

You must be logged in to post a comment Login