The spread of legalization has created a new challenge for law enforcement: how to effectively distinguish between cannabis and hemp?
For so many years the law has not distinguished between the two plants. Both have been legally considered the same substance. They look very similar and smell the same. Unsurprisingly, law enforcement never invested time and efforts to learn how to differentiate between the two. The 2018 Farm Bill changed the legal definition and declared that the distinction between the two is based on the level of THC, of tetrahydrocannabinol, in the plant.
Today in the United States, if a plant has less than 0.3% THC, then it is designated as hemp and considered legal. But police officers are still unable to tell the difference between cannabis and hemp. Law enforcement agencies have not kept up with the rapidly changing legal landscape. The diagnostic equipment at their disposal to test cannabis in the field is outdated. Most roadside cannabis detection kits are designed to detect the mere presence of THC but not the concentration. This is also the case with law enforcement agencies in other countries around the world in which hemp is legal, whether the THC threshold has been set as low as 0.2% or higher at 1.0%.
But GemmaCert is a game-changer for law enforcement. It is the first device which can effectively and affordably distinguish, by non-destructive means, between hemp and cannabis in real-time. And it can do so as low as 0.2% THC. With GemmaCert it is also possible to identify if cannabis or hemp have been adulterated with synthetic cannabinoids. There is no need for sample preparation and unlike other analytical technologies (e.g. Raman) there are no eye safety concerns when using GemmaCert.
With GemmaCert law enforcement officers could determine on-the-spot if the substance analyzed is below the permissible THC level so that costly crop destructions and unwarranted seizures can be avoided.