How Can We Distinguish Marijuana From Hemp? Border Officials Seek Devices To Help

Zinger Key Points
  • The device should detect if cannabis plant material contains over 0.3% THC.
  • Customs wants cannabis analyzers to ease the process of distinguishing marijuana from hemp.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently revealed a significant drop in cannabis seizures, attributing it to drug cartels stepping away from marijuana dealing because of many legalization efforts in the U.S.

Now, the federal law enforcement agency is willing to purchase portable cannabis analyzers that would ease the process of distinguishing marijuana from hemp, which is legal under the 2018 Farm Bill.

"CBP requires the capability to determine if suspect plant material or manufactured products contain cannabinoid-class chemicals and in what quantity," CBP said in a recently issued notice according to Marijuana Moment.

The Requirements

The device should detect and identify if suspect cannabis plant material contains over 0.3% THC by dry weight and eight other cannabinoid substances, including CBD, CBN, and Delta-8THC, to name a few.

The cannabis analyzer has to be "human-portable," with a weight that doesn't exceed 15 pounds. Moreover, it should be capable of identifying the sample's moisture content, with a full analysis cycle time of under 12 minutes.

"The analyzer shall have the capability to allow the operator to enter a data field for each analysis (identify each sample)," as well as the "ability to transfer data files and results to a universal serial bus (USB) flash drive," the notice specified.

In addition to being able to store and display results and data of the analysis, the device must be visible in various lighting settings and have a minimum of an eight-hour charge, a battery charger and a hard-sided carrying case.

Interestingly, the businesses that enter the contract with CBP are required to provide training on how to operate the analyzer, which "must be scheduled and held within six weeks of the delivery of each portable cannabis analyzer."

While the contractors are expected to provide all training aids, the products containing cannabinoids, as well as those without, will be provided by the government, the notice said.

The agency said that the producers of cannabis analyzers have until Sept. 2 to submit "statements of work" on the device's capabilities.

Photo: Courtesy of Aphiwat chuangchoem By Pexels

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