CBD shop thinks stolen hemp flower will be resold as marijuana

Paradise Plus on Madison’s west side is still trying to recover from a burglary last week.

The repair costs are in the thousands of dollars, and the owners think the people who broke the front window and stole hemp flower from them will try to resell their product as marijuana.

The similarities between the two products can be striking, between the look of industrial hemp and the smell. Both also come from essentially the same plant.

“The only difference is there’s no psychoactive effect because there’s such a low THC content,” said John Horner, whose family owns Paradise Plus.

Hemp flower looks pretty dang similar to marijuana…which makes sense-it’s essentially the same plant. So when Paradise+ got broken into last week &burglars went straight for this, the owners were pretty sure why. They think the thieves will try to resell it as weed. #News3Now pic.twitter.com/tgHctJAOmb

— Amy Reid (@amyreidreports) November 22, 2019

His and his family’s theory that the burglars will try to sell the hemp as marijuana stems from the product they stole: hemp flower. Horner said it’s some of the lesser-valued CBD in the shop, but it resembles marijuana the most. A spokesman for the Madison Police Department did not return a request to comment for verification.

Horner said his family’s neighboring business, Rosati’s, has also never been broken into in the 15 years they’ve owned it.

Capt. Jessica Quamme, with the Middleton Police Department, said if someone tries to sell the hemp as marijuana, they could face a felony charge.

“The problem is you have to have someone who’s willing to come forward and say, ‘I was wanting to purchase marijuana, but I got something that wasn’t,'” Quamme said. “More than likely, we’re not going to have those people coming forward.”

On the east side, the CEO of Quality CBD has taken precautions to make sure he doesn’t end up in a similar situation to Paradise Plus. He keeps his flower at the back of the store, and along with other security measures, he keeps it in a locked safe when the store is closed.

Tony Herman, the CEO, said he has other problems though, such as trying to travel with his product. He said when he did that in Green County, he ended up with a charge of possessing marijuana.

“I told the officers, I showed them the code of analysis in Green County, I did all of this, and yet they still tried to charge me with marijuana,” Herman said.

He is working with a lawyer to get the charges dismissed, but he said as the laws stand now, there are a lot of issues that need to be worked out to differentiate between the two.

“There’s going to be a lot of challenges making laws to separate (hemp and marijuana) in the near future, unless everything is legalized,” Herman said.

The family at Paradise Plus is just focused on getting their front window repaired and getting a stronger security system – like metal bars – in place.

Until then, Horner said the company will just keep going.

“We’re not going to let this discourage us one bit,” he said. “We’re going to continue to help the community and do what we’ve continued to do.”

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