The Thin Green Line: The Need for Uniform Testing in the Hemp Industry

The Need for Uniform Testing in the Hemp Industry

by Mark Yurachek

When I was young my father had a t-shirt which had 4 identical cartoon pictures with the captions, “Banker, Broker, Lawyer, Crook.” I was reminded of that shirt while considering what would happen to a hemp processor in Georgia, where I work primarily, who imports hemp which was certified by an out-of-state lab as having a total delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC-Δ9) concentration within acceptable standards, only to have a Georgia lab conclude the opposite.

In Georgia, testing for THC-Δ9 is a crucial aspect of the hemp trade, as it potentially spells the difference between a hemp farmer and a marijuana trafficker. Per O.C.G.A. §2-23-8, the Georgia Department of Agriculture (DOA) has the right, itself or through contracted labs, to test all licensees’ (growers) and permittees’ (processors) hemp randomly. If the testing reveals a THC-Δ9 concentration of more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis, the entire crop with the same GPS position (for licensees) or “all related hemp products” (for permittees) will be destroyed at the owner’s expense.

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