Texas A&M University Scientists Devise Tool to Distinguish Hemp from Marijuana

Scientists from Texas A&M University have developed a device that can tell the difference between legal hemp and illicit marijuana in seconds.

The assistant professor in the department of biochemistry and biophysics at Texas A&M University, Dmitry Kurouski, said that his team developed a technology that is non-invasive and non-destructive, which are two of the most important factors for law enforcement officers when they are performing on-site identification of marijuana.

Lee Sanchez, who is the research assistant credited with developing this device that is the size of a lunchbox, said that using the tool is straightforward. You need to place the sample being tested against the nose cone of the device and then turn on the laser and viola..! You have the spectra.

The spectra is what is used to determine if the sample is marijuana or hemp. Only a person trained on how to use the device would be able to tell the difference. The machine can also be used to detect the difference between legal CBD oils and Illegal THC-infused oil, said Kurouski.

The new device would be of great assistance to police officers as it would help them do their jobs efficiently, said Officer Jeffrey Pearce, with the College Station Police Department.

Officer Pearce said that they are trained to recognize cannabis. He also noted that hemp and marijuana are very similar as they look and smell the same.

The Commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture announced that on Wednesday, they would be hosting a forum at the Texas Farm Bureau Conference Center in Waco on the emerging hemp business across the state, which is one of the many developments of the hemp industry since the legalization of hemp and CBD products in Texas.

Hemp and marijuana are virtually identical aside from the presence of high levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabidiol) in pot, which is the psychoactive component of cannabis, while hemp has a close to zero level of THC (0.3%), which makes hemp non-psychoactive.

Hemp legalization is widely spread because of its durability and many different uses. Hemp is used in making textiles, as well as environmentally-friendly plastics.

When Pearce was asked if the device could be a game-changer for law enforcement, he said that it has the potential. He further said that the device could fit in the police unit.

The next step for the inventors is making it available on the market, but since the technology is new, Kurouski and Sanchez have not figured out how to proceed, but they are hoping to start soon.

Experts think that such a device will be welcomed by hemp industry players like MCTC Holdings Inc. (OTC: MCTC) who see it as a way to prevent needless law enforcement action against people growing or transporting legal hemp.

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