The research branch of America’s Justice Department has granted $350,000 to a state laboratory for developing a credible structure for evaluating THC levels to differentiate marijuana from industrial hemp.
The 2018 Farm Bill authorized industrial hemp cultivation within America through offering a 0.3% THC limit for the whole crop.
The national and federal authorities that confiscate marijuana plants depend on forensic labs to differentiate legal hemp from illegal cannabis. However, a plethora of laboratories don’t have reliable extraction tools and processes of evaluation for testing.
In the past, forensic labs only conducted a collection of qualitative measurements. They include micro-and macroscopic identification of crop traits, colourimetric tests for THC presence and THC confirmation through gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS).
GC-MS is highly preferred in forensic labs due to zero solvent consumption and short separation period.
The recent regulation uncategorized Hemp from Schedule I substances and classified it as marijuana comprising 0.3 percent THC or less. Thus, forensic labs are currently needed to quantify the total THC value in confiscated evidence to differentiate as either marijuana or hemp.
According to a grant notice released last week by DOJ’s National Justice Institute, the project’s objective is to offer forensic labs with the required evaluation tools to accurately make THC measurements using robust, simple and affordable analytical methods.
NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) is the grand recipient. It’s a federal lab under America’s Commerce Department. The announcement stated that NIST will concentrate on the creation of dilution strategies, one lab validation study, extraction processes and analysis of measurement equipment.
The notice said that the NIST is working with the federal and national law enforcement in Maryland to enable critical analysis of the recent evaluation methods to enable their applicability to satisfy the needs of the forensic lab.