P.E.I. RCMP continue cannabis investigation on farms
Depending on the THC levels, Cannabis sativa can be classified as either hemp or marijuana
P.E.I. RCMP are working with local farmers and seed providers to remove hemp or marijuana from a number of farmers fields in the Travellers Rest area.
Police say that in the past two weeks, 2,300 plants have been removed from this area.
On Tuesday, police were focusing their efforts on a field in the Fernwood area off Route 225.
Over the last few days, Cannabis sativa, a crop that can be classified as either marijuana or hemp depending on the levels of tetrahydrocannibol (THC) found in it, was found in a number of Island fields, according to police.
They say the cannabis sativa hemp and marijuana look very similar, so it is necessary to run a lab analysis to determine which type of plant is in the fields. The testing is being done at a Health Canada facility.
RCMP say it could be weeks before the test results identify the plants.
Even if the substance is hemp, a licence is needed to grow it, so the crop must be removed.
The extent of the problem is not fully known
In three of the fields where Cannabis sativa has been found, borage, a seed grown for its oil which also produces bright blue flowers, is grown for Technology Crops International of Kensington.
The company contracts out a number of Island farmers to grow seed provided by the company.
"We have come to find out from the company that sold the seeds to the farmers that there are a number of fields in P.E.I. which have borage and Cannabis sativa mixed together," said RCMP Sgt. Leanne Butler.
Police aren't sure how long will take to remove all of the plants, but do say that when the cannabis plants are removed, the borage crops will need to be destroyed.
On Monday, Technology Crops International said it was unsure where the Cannabis sativa was coming from.
RCMP say the affected farmers and Technology Crops International have cooperated fully with the investigation, which remains ongoing.
Police say it could take weeks to determine whether other fields in P.E.I. are facing the same situation. They are asking Islanders not to go looking for cannabis plants in borage fields, adding that not all borage growers purchased seed from the same distributor.