The owners of a legal Templeton hemp farm are reeling after someone vandalized their crop Sunday night.
Officials say they believe someone drove an ATV through the field damaged at around 11:30 p.m. that night, damaging approximately 60% of the crop.
It was planted in June and was about two weeks away from harvest.
Ryder Nesbitt, founder of Temple Farms, believes the damage will cost his family more than a quarter-million dollars.
"This is a plant that helps people, this is not a narcotic, this is a medicine. We're within our federal and our state rights to grow this crop. We've done everything right, we've done our registration, taken all the testing that's required by the state," Nesbitt said.
The crop covered two acres on the property with each plant weighing about 10 pounds and each being at head-height.
Temple Farms was the first of 16 farms to officially pass the test for legally growing hemp at the appropriate THC levels.
"To have someone just come in here and destroy all of our hard work, all of our money and the future for our farm is devastating," Nesbitt added.
The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office says the person responsible for the crime could face felony vandalism charges.
"We've been in contact with the owners, we've been in contact with neighbors, we've been in contact with potential witnesses, so hopefully we'll be able to catch the culprit or culprits responsible," said Tony Cipolla, SLO County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer.
If you have any tips or leads on this case, you can reach out to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office at (805) 781-4550 or the Templeton Station at (805) 434-4290.