Burglars in Bayfield were likely disappointed to learn they had stolen $300,000 worth of industrial hemp last weekend – and not its similar-looking counterpart, marijuana.
The theft of 170 hemp plants occurred late Thursday or early Friday at Evergrow Harvest, a licensed industrial hemp company in Bayfield. Hemp contains none of the psychoactive ingredient that gives marijuana its kick.
Owner Zephaniah Lee said he arrived at work Friday morning to find cold air running through the greenhouse, and doors that showed signs of forced entry. A trail of hemp plants led out of the building and to an area where a truck and trailer were likely parked, according to the Bayfield Marshal’s Office, which is investigating the heist.
“The way they went after the plants that were hanging makes me believe they thought they were marijuana plants and not industrial hemp plants,” Lee told The Durango Herald.
The plants, which are used for seed production, are worth about $300,000, he said.
No suspects had been identified as of Tuesday, but Lee is offering an $8,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the people involved and/or the recovery of the stolen plants.
Lee said the 170 plants make up a small portion of Evergrow Harvest’s operation.
“It’s not detrimental to our project,” Lee said.