Now that hemp is legal nationally here in the United States, the DEA is struggling to determine whether hemp shipments crossing state lines are actually marijuana versus hemp. Based off the passage of the Hemp Farming Act last December, hemp is classified as any cannabis plant with less than .3% THC. They are now referring to cannabis plants with higher than a .3% THC potency as a drug-type THC plant and plants with less than .3% THC as a drug-type CBD plant. The DEA announced publicly on the FBO.gov website that they are looking for someone to create a field test for authorities to determine the drug-type of cannabis plants. Digipath Labs knew how to address their need and filed a provisional patent for a field test kit that would allow authorities to quickly and accurately determine the drug-type of a cannabis plant to address the federal government’s immediate need.
(LAS VEGAS, NV, April 9, 2019 ) – Digipath, Inc. (OTCQB: DIGP), a service-oriented independent testing laboratory, data and media firm focused on the developing cannabis and hemp markets, is pleased to announce that in collaboration with VSSL of Kelowna, BC, has filed a provisional patent application for a Field Testing Kit that can quickly determine whether a plant sample is actually hemp, drug-type THC or drug-type CBD.
Currently the only recourse for law enforcement to make a determination of what is being transported across state lines is lab based analytical testing of the mature plants for their THC content to come in under the 0.3% THC level. The Digipath-VSSL simple genetic field test will allow for a DNA-based assay to clearly designate if plant material at any stage of growth is industrial hemp or drug-type CBD and NOT drug-type THC. Inability to determine what a sample is, and if it is in compliance with prevailing law, has been an enormous problem for law enforcement, hemp farmers, and others looking to ensure full compliance. A recent High Times article details this problem, noting an instance where a fully-compliant hemp shipment was wrongfully seized due to a failure to properly identify the cargo.
As one of the premier testing laboratories in the United States, Digipath is looking to expand on its services with a mobile product to serve the market need for a test to distinguish the two cannabis strains. The patent application filing comes following a recent Request for Proposal for “Hemp/Marijuana Field Test Kits” posted by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency. The request reads as follows:
“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. All products shall be the most current and up-to-date model/revision(s) available at the time of delivery. Anticipated maximum quantities to be purchased will be based on evaluation results and agency need.”
“VSSL’s Chief Scientist, Philippe Henry PhD and I, are very pleased to present an immediate solution to an industry need that parallels the stated Federal and State dilemma of proper genetic identification of interstate transported cannabis,” stated Cindy Orser, PhD, Chief Science Officer, Digipath. “The need was abundantly clear to us and we were intent on providing a solution to this dilemma even before the government’s request was posted. Moreover, the Request for Proposal appears to call for exactly what we believe our technology provides.”
“This new “Field Test” is essentially, a cross between 23 and Me and a paternity test for plants,” stated Todd Denkin, CEO, Digipath. “Within minutes, our test can determine the nature of the plant sample and which drug-type it belongs to. We believe there is a significant market for this product, and the DEA’s recognition of this need supports our pursuit of this opportunity.”
As a cannabis lab testing company in Las Vegas, Digipath Labs has sampled well over 24,000 cannabis products, both drug-type THC and drug-type CBD products, and refined our technique to attain an in-depth understanding of the nuances for cannabis testing. Our collaboration with VSSL has allowed us to take our data collection techniques even further by analyzing the genomics of cannabis plants. Testing CBD products, hemp products and marijuana products has allowed us to collect massive amounts of data on cannabinoids, terpenes and the other biological compounds found within cannabis plants. We are happy to continue our growth in the cannabis sector where opportunities are plentiful for cannabis testing facilities. Our hopes are that with our efforts we can help to avoid circumstances where workers transporting hemp products across state lines are incarcerated unnecessarily.