GemmaCert has unveiled the first presumptive field test in the United States to effectively detect the percentage of THC present in cannabis, as low as 0.2%, to accurately distinguish within minutes between hemp and cannabis. This first-in-industry innovation is achieved by GemmaCert’s patented technology combining near-infrared spectroscopy, image analysis, and advanced data analytics. Farmers and law enforcement are set to benefit from a breakthrough technology capable of rapidly differentiating between cannabis and hemp.
The hemp CBD industry has been growing exponentially since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp as having less than 0.3% THC (the active ingredient in cannabis-producing the high sensation). A market boom has ensued. Today CBD products can be found in everything from body lotions to beer. According to New Frontier Data, the CBD market in the U.S. will triple in size from US$ 390 million in 2018 to US$ 1.3 billion by 2022.
Any plant material with THC above 0.3% remains illegal under federal law and must be destroyed. Yet, hemp is identical to cannabis, minus the THC, so dogs and police officers cannot smell a difference. Unsurprisingly, there have been wrongful arrests across the country. Recently a Texas trooper arrested a driver for transporting over a ton of cannabis. The driver was released after almost a month in jail only after lab results proved the crop was legal hemp. A similar case happened in New York around the same time. As GemmaCert’s CEO, Dr. Guy Setton explained: “With GemmaCert unjustified crop destructions and unwarranted arrests could be avoided. Police officers could determine on-the-spot if the substance analyzed is below the permissible THC level.”
Hemp is the crop with the fastest growth in acres planted in the U.S. According to the USDA, farmers more than quadrupled the land planted with hemp from 27,424 acres in 2018 to 128,320 in 2019. GemmaCert will make life much easier and predictable for these hemp farmers. With the ability to detect THC levels as low as 0.2%, they can effectively track their crop and harvest just-in-time to avoid collecting “hot” hemp. “Our potency testing kit with the latest hemp analytical upgrade is a must-have tool for hemp farming and transportation in the era of legalization,” Setton added.
GemmaCert customers received an over-the-air upgrade enabling their devices to distinguish between hemp and cannabis. New customers will receive the capability pre-installed. This innovation strengthens GemmaCert’s position as a market leader for cannabis analytics with customers in over 20 countries.