Academic Publications

A Tale of Two Cannabinoids: Marijuana vs. Hemp

Jasmine M. Drake | Elycia S. Daniel | Jennifer W. Bourgeois

Summary

This article examines how the passing of Texas HB 1325, which legalized hemp products with under 0.3% THC, has created challenges for criminal justice and crime labs in Texas. It argues labs are not currently equipped to quantitatively test marijuana samples to meet the new legal distinction.

Key Takeaways

  • Texas HB 1325 legalized hemp products with under 0.3% THC but not marijuana above 0.3% THC.
  • This requires quantitation of THC by crime labs, whereas before only qualitative identification was needed.
  • Most Texas crime labs lack validated methods and instrumentation for THC quantitation.
  • Without quantitation, marijuana prosecutions become difficult, effectively decriminalizing marijuana.
  • New methods, training, and accredited labs are needed to meet the requirements of HB 1325.