Hemp Testing 101 – Insights from Kight on Cannabis

Recently I was involved in a discussion with an industrial hemp testing lab.  We wanted to send our sample to them for triple testing COA’a.  They asked if we had the original COA’s from the purchased flower and we did.  They asked what the Total THC was and we gave them the number.  This struck me odd because the law in the Farm Bill mentions Delta 9 THC has to be less than .3% to be considered Industrial Hemp.  Nothing about Total THC.  After a back and forth discussion regarding this, he told me he was not a lawyer and that I should seek one out for clarification.

The best lawyer in this industry from my research is Rod Kight of CannaBusiness.law

I read one of his great blog posts before I reached out to him titled “Hemp Testing 101: Analytical Testing Protocols Explained and Evaluated”.  Three main points that were made that stuck out to me are these below.

1 – Proper analytical testing is vital to the hemp industry. In order to qualify as “industrial hemp” under the 2014 Farm Act (or as “hemp” under the 2018 Farm Bill), cannabis must be tested for delta 9 (∆9) tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentrations to ensure that it does not exceed three tenths of one percent (0.3%) on a dry weigh basis.

2- Federal law explicitly states that the operative issue for determining whether a particular cannabis crop is lawful hemp or unlawful marijuana is its ∆9-THC concentration. Any reliable testing method must, at a minimum, measure the actual concentrations of ∆9-THC in order to comply with the statute. Attempting to quantify the total “available THC” using a testing method that distorts the result by creating the very molecule it is measuring is contrary to law.

3 – If Congress had intended that “total THC” be the measure it would have said so. Instead, it said delta-9 THC.


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