New testing device said to be able to differentiate between hemp and high-THC cannabis

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Cannabis tech company GemmaCert Ltd. has revealed a new product that it claims can test the level of tetrahydrocannabinol (aka THC, the intoxicating compound in the cannabis plant) in just minutes.

This, the company noted, would allow law enforcement and other agencies to quickly establish whether a crop qualifies as hemp, defined under U.S. federal rules as cannabis that contains less than 0.3 per cent THC. The Israel-based test makers said the product can detect THC content as low as 0.2 per cent.

The test combines near-infrared spectroscopy, image analysis and advanced data analytics to deliver its evaluation.

Hemp is federally legal in the U.S., meaning the crop can be brought across state lines, but this is not the case with higher-THC cannabis. Although the latter may be legal in almost three dozen states for medical and/or adult use, the drug remains categorized as a Schedule I substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This means it is federally illegal and prohibited to transport cannabis from state to state.

Unfortunately for law enforcement, the tests currently available to help differentiate between a crop of hemp and a crop of high-THC cannabis can take weeks to yield results, leading to some embarrassing situationsfailed prosecutionsdropped charges and, essentially, decriminalization in some regions.

The test can also be used by hemp farmers to ensure their crops remain within federal guidelines for THC content.

“With GemmaCert, unjustified crop destructions and unwarranted arrests could be avoided. Police officers could determine on-the-spot if the substance analyzed is below the permissible THC level,” company CEO Guy Setton said in a press release.

The test can also be used by hemp farmers to ensure their crops remain within federal guidelines for THC content, Setton noted.

“Our potency testing kit with the latest hemp analytical upgrade is a must-have tool for hemp farming and transportation in the era of legalization,” he argued.

The makers of the test have not yet announced whether the product will be available to law enforcement, farmers or other consumers outside Israel and the U.S.

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