Cannabis analyzers are coming to patrol the borders

47 0

US Customs and Border Protection wants marijuana technology on the borders

Portable marijuana analyzers now appear to be on the shopping list for US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The agency has indicated an interest in purchasing these devices in order to more quickly and easily identify cannabinoid profiles, while also serving to distinguish cannabis plants and hemp at the federal level.

According to a recent statement, CBP said it is requesting “statements of work” from different firms that manufacture and develop these types of cannabis analyzers. In order to be considered, they must meet the agency’s functional standards, which are likely to be quite rigorous.

Although it did not specify in detail what the exact plans are with these devices, CBP said it “requires the ability to determine whether suspect plant material or manufactured products contain cannabinoid-class chemicals and in what quantity.” It appears that the technology would be used as part of various investigations related to suspected cannabis smuggling cases.

Hemp has been a legal crop since it was removed from federal control under the 2018 Farm Bill. Since then, law enforcement has had several issues in distinguishing it from marijuana, which still remains illicit in the eyes of the federal government.

According to the notice, it is made clear that the device has to be able to determine whether a given cannabis product contains more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by dry weight. This would translate to it meeting the federal definition of illegal marijuana.

“The analyzer shall have the ability to store analysis data and results on board the system,” the notice says. “The analyzer shall be capable of displaying the results of the analyses of the stored data” and it “shall have the ability to transfer data files and results to a universal serial bus (USB) flash drive.”