One of the problems at the center of Operation Candy Crush (other than local law enforcement not knowing state law) was that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation couldn’t determine if CBD is produced from hemp, which is legal, and marijuana, which is not.
It’s been a few moons since the debacle, but the TBI has been working to find a way to differentiate between the two closely related substances.
While they still can’t tell the difference between CBD derived from hemp or marijuana (most of it is hemp), they can test to determine whether that shake is one or the other. They can also test the THC level in CBD to determine if it exceeds the state’s threshold for THC.
There was some confusion after TBI’s crime laboratories at Media Day on Sept. 17 that led to “TBI Statement: Cannabis Sativa Analysis,” which was released earlier this week.
The gist is that TBI and local law enforcement will continue to assume that any “green leafy substance” is marijuana until additional tests prove otherwise.
Here’s the full statement:
NOTE: In recent days, you may have seen reporting about our crime laboratories and changes to our work to analyze plant material that may be marijuana. We want to take the opportunity to provide some context to clear up any confusion that may exist.
TBI Special Agent/Forensic Scientist Supervisor Glenn Everett demonstrates the presumptive test performed on green leafy plant materials submitted to TBI’s crime laboratories at Media Day on Sept. 17, 2019.
In late August, District Attorneys General and Law Enforcement across the state received notification from our Forensic Services Division of additional testing to differentiate between hemp and marijuana. The letter explains the two tests that are now conducted to identify the presumptive determination of the sample. The TBI crime laboratories are on pace to receive more than 10,000 submissions of green leafy substance and Forensic Scientists are now conducting considerably more tests than in the past. Determining the quantity of THC requires yet another test, which will be conducted on all felony amounts of plant material that is presumptively marijuana, and any other submissions as requested by a District Attorney General, to include misdemeanor amounts. We currently test misdemeanor amounts and will continue to test misdemeanor amounts at the request of the District Attorneys General.
The intent of the letter, which you can download by clicking this link, was simply to notify the District Attorneys and Law Enforcement of additional developed testing and to clearly communicate the importance of prioritizing the need for quantification for prosecution.
TBI remains opposed to the legalization of marijuana in any form.