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Sisters man arrested in hemp theft from farm

A Sisters man has been arrested after he allegedly cut down and stole a substantial amount of industrial hemp from a farm, authorities said.

Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies were informed Tuesday that a large amount of industrial hemp was cut down and missing from a farmer’s field in an unincorporated area of Sisters, sheriff’s Sgt. Kent Vander Kamp said.

The cannabis crop comes in a number of different strains, or varietals, many of which are bred into marijuana and have high levels of THC, Vander Kamp said. Legally, industrial hemp is only permitted to have 0.3 percent THC at most. Although it looks and smells like marijuana, hemp is used for production of CBD oil or other hemp products, Vander Kamp added.

After an investigation, deputies identified Noah Gabriel Kirshner, 20, of Sisters as the suspect in the crop theft.

“It is undetermined if Kirshner believed the industrial hemp was actually marijuana or if he intended on selling the product fraudulently as marijuana,” Vander Kamp said in a news release.

Kirshner did not have the equipment to extract cannabinoids needed to make CBD oil or other products, Vander Kamp added.

Deputies say they found the stolen hemp at Kirshner’s home and it has since been returned to the farmer.

Kirshner was lodged in the Deschutes County Jail. He’s charged with first-degree theft, first-degree trespassing and a probation violation, the latter meaning he’s being held without bail.

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