Thieves in southwestern France “mistake hemp plants for cannabis”

Six men will be tried later this year, accused of the theft of thousands of hemp plants from a farm in New Aquitaine.The men were arrested after removing around 2,000 feet of plants at Aillas farm in southern Gironde.

Police say the plants were stolen for more than two nights earlier this month. Prosecutors believe legally grown industrial hemp plants have been mistaken for cannabis, AFP reports.

Industrial hemp – which can be made into paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food and feed – looks a lot like cannabis. But it contains very small amounts of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in the illegal drug. Hemp containing more than 0.2% THC is prohibited in France.

The six, who were arrested the next day, will face charges of gun violence, after a gunshot was fired when farm workers disrupted the second robbery, and an aggravated robbery, when they appear before the court in November.

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