Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

GemmaCert Unveils Rapid Field Test That Can Distinguish Between Hemp and Marijuana

By David Jagielski – Updated Jun 18, 2020 at 1:46PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

With results available within minutes, the product could help prevent wrongful arrests of people transporting legal hemp.

Israeli-based cannabis technology company GemmaCert unveiled a new product this week that can test cannabis and within minutes reveal its tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. The product, which is also called GemmaCert, can detect if THC is as low as 0.2%. The key level when it comes to U.S. law enforcement is 0.3% -- if the THC content exceeds that, the plant is classified as marijuana.

Since marijuana is illegal federally, people may not transport it across state lines. The challenge is that hemp is legal federally, but it looks like marijuana. The only reliable way for law enforcement personnel to differentiate between the two is by testing it. Using the technology currently available to them, that's not a fast process, and it usually requires labs to do further testing.

This can lead police to wrongfully arrest individuals transporting perfectly legal hemp on suspicion of transporting marijuana.

GemmaCert CEO Guy Setton stated in a press release that with his company's product, "Police officers could determine on-the-spot if the substance analysed is below the permissible THC level."

Cannabis hemp oil.

Image source: Getty Images.

Hemp is big business in the U.S.

For consumers looking to purchase cannabidiol (CBD) products in states that haven't legalized medical or recreational marijuana, hemp-based options are an attractive alternative. New regulations written into the 2018 Farm Bill opened the doors for the industry, and hemp company Charlotte's Web (CWBHF 17.51%) has benefited greatly. Over the past 12 months, the company has brought in profits of $6.4 million on revenues of more than $93 million.

Charlotte's Web has been profitable in three of its last four quarters, a significantly more consistent result than is common among marijuana companies, which have generally been struggling to stay out of the red. But advancements in this kind of THC detection will go a long way for companies involved in the hemp business.

David Jagielski has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Charlotte's Web. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Charlotte's Web Stock Quote
Charlotte's Web
$0.62 (17.51%) $0.09

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 10/06/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.