The Drug Enforcement Agency has requested input from companies who may be able to provide field test kits that can differentiate hemp from marijuana. In a notice posted to the federal business opportunities website, the DEA said it is conducting market research to obtain test kits or instruments that can determine if a sample of cannabis contains more than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight.

“The field test kit must provide specificity to distinguish between hemp and marijuana. It must be portable and rugged enough to be used in non-laboratory environments or ambient conditions,” the notice reads.

With the legalization of hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill, the crop and its derivatives have now been exempted from regulation by the Controlled Substances Act. But with hemp and marijuana both cultivars of the cannabis plant, telling the difference between the two is not an easy task. By the legal definition, cannabis plants with a THC concentration of less than 0.3 percent are considered hemp. Any more than that is classified as marijuana and still federally illegal.

The distinction has caused confusion for members of law enforcement who encounter shipments of hemp during the performance of their duties. Field tests to determine

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