Ohio cops may be able to better differentiate hemp and marijuana with scientific advances

Ohio cops may be able to better differentiate hemp and marijuana with scientific advances

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Americans have toiled in CBD agriculture since industrial hemp was legalized, but sadly some of their inventories have been seized because police and investigators were unable to tell the difference between legal and illegal crops and products.

These citations, arrests and seizures were prominent in New York, Maine, Texas, South Dakota and other states across the union at the beginning of 2019 right after the Farm Bill made hemp legal. Now, Ohio forensics science will help the state’s labs parse out the difference quickly during investigations.

Testing labs at Bowling Green, London and Richfield, Ohio — the only three of their kind in the state — now have updated resources to more effectively test hemp to ensure its THC content is low enough to keep it legal.

According to the Boston Globe, Columbus, Ohio recently stopped prosecuting low-level cannabis possession because of the confusion. Some cities still enforce the prohibition, and it is unclear how the tests will affect those citations.

“The chemical test that can differentiate (hemp and marijuana) is not the only way you can legally differentiate hemp from marijuana,” Bowling Green Prosecutor Hunter Brown told the Columbus Dispatch. “You don’t smoke hemp, so if someone has a bowl in their car, it’s more than likely marijuana.” [2]

Ohio is far from the only state where disputes over hemp’s similarities to marijuana have caused problems.

Across many states in the U.S. these seizures characterized CBD’s first year.

On November 2, 2019, New York police boasted on social media they had seized hundreds of pounds of marijuana from the company, but Green Angel owners complained the substance was actually hemp.

Now the case won’t move forward, but that doesn’t mean the company will get its supply back.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced the charges against Green Angel would no longer press the charges as the substance was in fact misidentified and turned out to be legal, according to Huffington Post.

“The substance seized in this case contains less than .06% THC, which makes it legal hemp under federal and, as of yesterday, state law,” Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez said after the case was dropped.

With luck, Ohio’s testing and more testing across the country will continue to open doors for cannabis entrepreneurs and consumers as the industry grows into a booming component of American life, free from these misunderstandings and prosecutions.


[1] https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/05/27/marijuana/ohio-crime-labs-able-differentiate-hemp-marijuana/

[2] https://www.dispatch.com/news/20200525/ohio-crime-labs-to-distinguish-marijuana-hemp

[3] https://www.nothingbuthemp.net/post/new-york-drops-mistaken-charges-against-hemp-retailers