Hemp and marijuana look similar, which is not great for police and hemp industry workers. This new device can help.
Hemp and marijuana look startling similar, a fact that has confused many police enforcers and that has allowed some savvy marijuana users to walk away without charges. Due to the legal differences between the two, it’s become very important for the people in charge to differentiate the two.
Hemp is legal in the country, while cannabis remains illegal in many states. Still, carrying large amounts of either will catch the attention of most officials.
Science Daily reports that a truck driver recently spent a week in jail due to the fact that he was carrying tons of what looked like marijuana. It was hemp, but police officers couldn’t tell the difference.
A group of researchers from Texas, led by Dmitry Kurouski, PhD, devised a way of measuring the amounts of THC in hemp and marijuana, since this is what determines what is legal and what isn’t in some states. Hemp plants contain 0.3% or less of THC.
The method the researchers came up with is fast and noninvasive, with a 100% accuracy in the tests that were conducted. The test functions by looking for differences between hemp and cannabis in key regions of the plant.
“When we saw such a crystal-clear picture of THC that appeared in one second of spectral acquisition, that was mind-blowing,” explains Kuroski.
Now, these researchers are looking for a way of partnering up with the industry in order to mass produce a device that can reach police enforcers throughout the country. They predict this process could take between two and three years. Afterwards, they might device a similar test that can measure CBD.