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Southside Farmers Arming Themselves After Hemp Thieves Strike

Hemp Farm In New Market
Source: Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (Photo: Virginia Hemp Farm, October, 2019)

Virginia’s very first industrial hemp crop in more than 80 years has just been harvested, but as Charles Fishburne reports, for some farmers it came with some unexpected consequences.


Charles Fishburne: Some Virginia hemp farmers have reported thieves have attempted to rip their crop right out of the ground.

Maj. William Knott:  They were going out pulling up the whole plant by the roots.

Maj. William Knott, Chief Deputy, Dinwiddie County Sheriff’s Office

Maj. Knott: T hrowing them in the trunk of the car…just making off with them.

Fishburne: He says the trouble began about harvest time.

Maj. Knott:  Somewhere between 15 and 20 people have been arrested.

Fishburne:  nd that was just on one farm, in one county. 

Elaine Lidholme:  We have issued 1182 grower registrations.

Fishburne: Virginia Department of Agriculture Spokesperson Elaine Lidholme says she has heard several reports of farmers having to guard their crops:

Lidholme:  I have heard of farmers who said that people were carrying firearms so some of the farmers started doing it themselves.

Fishburne: There are no reports of anybody being injured.

Charles Fishburne, VPM News.