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A New Break-Through Test Can Differentiate Between Hemp And Cannabis

Douglas County Sheriff’s Office announced a new test that can differentiate between hemp products and marijuana.

Earlier this year, farmers began legally producing hemp crops. When we spoke with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office about a month ago, they told us that they were unable to distinguish between hemp and marijuana based on THC content in their crime lab. Today, they say things have changed.

According to a release from the sheriff’s office, they have developed a test which will be used “to confirm that a plant material is marijuana if it contains more than approximately 1% THC.”

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The procedure is based on a method developed by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and was validated by the sheriff’s laboratory. The method was “developed in accordance with ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) Forensic Accreditation requirements and falls under the lab’s current scope of accreditation,” the agency said. The lab conducts drug analysis for more than 20 local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.

While some law enforcement agencies in Nebraska indicated they would cease low-level cannabis prosecutions following the legalization of hemp because they were unable to tell the difference between the two, Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said in August that he would continue trying the cases using the previous state law that only allowed University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers to possess hemp.

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Other law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. where cannabis remains outlawed have indicated they would stop making arrests for low-level possession due to hemp legalization, with some saying they do not have access to labs that can test the THC content of a product.

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