U.S. Customs and Border Protection
A Border Patrol officer's dog sniffs out marijuana — or is that hemp?
Apparently local cops and district attorneys aren't the only ones having a hard time telling the difference between cannabis and hemp.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) posted a notice seeking info on portable cannabis analyzers its agents could use to differentiate federally outlawed marijuana from hemp products, which became legal under the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill, according to news site Marijuana Moment
CBP's notice was scant on specifics about its plans for the gear, the cannabis news agency reports. However, the solicitation says the agency wants the ability to "determine if suspect plant material or manufactured products contain cannabinoid-class chemicals and in what quantity."
The assumption is that Border Patrol agents would use the equipment in smuggling cases to determine whether leafy greens are illegal pot or legal hemp.
Since the passage of the Farm Bill, local law enforcement agencies have struggled to differentiate between weed and hemp-based products. In the six months after Texas legalized hemp, low-level pot prosecutions dropped by more than half
due to the difficulty in telling the legal and illegal substances apart.
In 2020, Bexar County began sending suspected marijuana to its crime lab
for testing, something enabled by a $100,000 equipment upgrade. However, Bexar's testing focus is on felony amounts of weed, not possession cases
under four ounces. The county has a cite-and-release policy for low-level possession cases.
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