Thieves who confuse industrial hemp for marijuana will be left disappointed and should stay away from the crop, Biosecurity SA says.
Operations manager Michael McManus said the new product’s first commercial harvest has been the target of unwanted attention.
“It is just not worth the risk to try and steal them,” Mr McManus said.
“Industrial hemp should not be confused with medicinal cannabis or marijuana.
“This crop is essentially just like any other agricultural crop, such as wheat or barley.”
Mr McManus said police are monitoring the situation, and warned the crop may have been sprayed with pesticides.
“Anyone thinking of stealing industrial hemp plants to either consume or smoke will experience absolutely no ‘high’,” he said.
“They should also be aware that if crops have been sprayed any consumption could in fact lead to a risk of becoming seriously unwell.”
Industrial hemp contains very low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, and its consumption causes no psychotropic effects.
Its seeds are used in health food and cosmetic products, while its fibre can be used to make textiles, building materials and paper.
There are 11 producers licensed to grow industrial hemp in South Australia.