Hemp producers around the country feel they’re being treated like criminals.
That’s because laboratories that test the crop must be certified by the Drug Enforcement Administration, something that has the country’s producers uneasy.
USDA’s new hemp regulations say farmers have to ship some of their crops off to labs so that they can verify the crop doesn’t contain illegal amounts of THC, the mind-altering chemical in marijuana.
If a hemp crop is found non-compliant, which would mean the THC levels are above .3 percent, it has to be completely destroyed under the supervision of a law enforcement officer.
Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp, tells Politico that law enforcement shouldn’t be involved unless there’s evidence of illegal activity, such as a farmer with a hemp license growing marijuana.
Other critics worry that DEA lab certification will create a major bottleneck to testing, which must take place during a 15-day window before harvest.
44 labs in America can process hemp samples, but some states such as Alabama don’t have a single lab to take care of that kind of testing.