Theft of cannabis plants, is it now a problem in Canada?

Published Oct 7, 2019 11:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Zbynek Pospisil

It’s harvest time for most growers across Canada, as the temperatures take a dive and the threat of frost looms overhead. Though it might seem a bit late in the year to some, those who are experienced with growing cannabis will wait until the ideal moment arrives which can be determined by viewing the resinous trichomes under a microscope.

Harvest too early and the results are mediocre product but wait just a day too long, and you could find that your buds are degraded by harsh frosts, contaminated with mold, or so sleep-inducing that the product is only good for nighttime use. This dilemma has thousands of Canadian with roots still in the ground, even more than ever before, and the spike in numbers is being blamed on marijuana legalization.

Has marijuana legalization fueled the theft of growing cannabis plants?

The sheer number of complaints rolling in across the country is intense, but it is believed that the reason for this isn’t caused by marijuana legalization, but instead, these exciting new laws had encouraged the general population to report such incidents, where in the past when a cannabis plant came up missing it was illegal for anyone without a medical license to grow, and rarely ever reported to police.

Police are now actively investigating the theft of cannabis

Marijuana legalization has opened the door for real reports to be made when a growing cannabis plant turns up missing from someone’s backyard, which is good news to an extent. This information can be shared amongst neighbors and on online forums to help others keep an eye out for thieves, but just as it is with anything else under $1000 that gets stolen, the police aren’t going to be actively searching for every marijuana plant that is called in. All of this is expected to eventually benefit consumers the most, once insurance companies begin to extend the coverage of personal possessions to include cannabis alongside your usual house or car insurance.

Is it still a good idea to learn how to grow marijuana outdoors?

Despite the mischievous nature of some dishonest people, many consumers are having plenty of success with growing cannabis outside. Though you might want to take some extra precautions, especially if you live in a high traffic area, have no enclosing fence, or if you happen to reside in a district with higher than average rates of crime, growing pot plants outdoors is still a favored choice by many of the most experienced growers.

So, is the theft of growing cannabis plants a problem in Canada?

There is no way to deny that most, if not all regions deal with a crime presence; the circumstances are not marijuana specific. People steal every single day for a variety of different reasons, but the prevalence of theft in the country is not something to be afraid of. Instead, it should be embraced and planned for long before you ever start growing cannabis. Just like with anything of worth, plants can be disguised and protected with little more than a locking greenhouse, which is why if you must grow your plants outdoors, the investment will at some point pay for itself. Grow smart, stay alert, and use whatever security you can for the best chance of success.

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