Regulate Hemp Like Marijuana

Per USDA rules every state hemp program has THC test samples in a solid chain of custody, with random protocol collection performed by state employees or law enforcement agents, transported sealed to DEA-certified state labs for pre-harvest compliance analysis.

Use of LEO and DEA registered labs for the chain of custody is due to the mere possibility that the hemp samples will test hot, at 0.4% delta-9 THC or above. That’s 40 times less than regular-grade marijuana. Compare that to how loose the state marijuana programs are, actually putting patients at serious risk.

Allowing clients to submit the test sample is at the root of the problem. Many hide use of Eagle20 and Neem in flower, dipping moldy samples in H2O2, rolling samples in keif or trichomes to boost THC levels, lab shopping for the best numbers, and other fraudulent tricks.

Many states with regulated marijuana have seen recalls after sale for moldy flowers, ridiculously high numbers for THC, reliance on inadequate technology to test microbes, the emergence of the “CHS epidemic,” and labs being suspended for “THC inflation.” This long-standing fraud is a well-known secret in the industry.

What’s worse is state regulators also know all this but turn a blind eye. That Regulatory Capture by bad clients with a wink from the labs just rewards the bad and penalizes the honest, while putting millions at risk.

Since the marijuana testing labs have DEA 225 permits, someone should ask DEA and the state to revoke those with a history of fraud. Fraud in state-mandated analytical labs is a very serious matter, a breach of the fiduciary trust the lab owes to regulators and society. If we can’t trust the lab to report THC properly, can we trust them to report Aspergillus properly?

It’s ironic that before the 2018 Farm Bill, recreational marijuana was more legal to grow than hemp in 10 states due to unnecessarily-restrictive rules on that ag crop. And now, even just fiber hemp to build houses from seeds certified by the government to be THC compliant are far more-tightly controlled and tested (therefore honest) than the scandalously-fraudulent state-regulated and -taxed marijuana smoked by millions.

With today’s glut of marijuana inventory and a crash in prices in many states, expect more gaming of the system and moldy Muggles. I’m waiting for the day of 101% THC concentrates or 50% flowers, no doubt someone has already paid for that result by now.

This might be where FDA focuses it’s attention first upon federal decriminalization; it’s that serious of a public health issue. One would think state attorneys general could fix this, or state marijuana regulators, or state ag experts, or state health officials, or state lab regulators, or USDA, or FTC, or DEA, or FDA, or tort attorneys. But it might literally take an act of Congress to solve.

Either Regulate Marijuana Like Hemp and test it properly before it is sold and smoked, or Regulate Hemp Like Marijuana and end the charade, anything goes. In an era of legal marijuana, no one will want that measly 0.3% THC anyway. This ain’t 1937.