Hemp biomass, whether it be hemp flowers, ground plant material, or so-called “marshmallows” (harvested hemp wrapped in plastic bales), looks, smells and looks the same as marijuana, especially to law enforcement officials.
The Drug Enforcement Administration ( DEA ) further confused things by taking action directly against the 2014 Farm Bill by maintaining the rhetoric that all cannabis, including industrial hemp, was still banned by federal law.
Colorado has struggled with these challenges for years. Do you include THCa? How can I measure 0.3 percent THC by “dry weight” in products that do not have a dry weight? What constitutes “dry weight” for a liquid? Should THC be tested throughout the plant, or only in the portions with the highest cannabinoid resins concentration? As hemp products increasingly enter international trade, what about countries with a standard of 1.0% THC? Will it be treated as marijuana by countries with a standard of 0.3% THC or less? Are the police aware that these problems are coming?
Lack of registration or rules does not mean that hemp products are illegal; they are simply not specifically regulated by the FDA. However, many state equivalents, such as the Colorado Public Health Department of the Environment, have paved the way for developing a regulatory framework for these products. However, authorities do not necessarily have reason to know that these conditions exist. The more you search, the clearer and clearer that confusion abounds.
Along with education, the industry, in general, and the police, desperately need standardization tests. Field tests, such as infrared spectroscopy, must be refined and used consistently. Traditionally, the police have not determined the THC content, but rather the mere presence of THC, which is too imprecise when it comes to legality measured in tenths of a percentage.
Until then, hemp companies, shippers, and related employees must take steps to document the legal and regulated chain of production and custody of plant materials and derivatives.