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Washington State Defines Hemp Vs Marijuana


washington state marijuana hempTHC content is the identifying factor, according to new legislation sent to Governor

OLYMPIA- The Associated Press reports that the Washington legislature, in a rare Saturday session, has approved a new law establishing the difference between commercially-grown industrial hemp and medicinally-used marijuana.

The difference will hinge on the amount of delta-9 THC and THC-A contained in the plant. If the combined amounts of both chemicals do not exceed 0.3% of total content, the plant will be legally defined as hemp. Any amount over that figure would identify the substance as marijuana.

The distinction came at the request of prosecutors and crime lab technicians. Contained within the new recreational marijuana use law adopted by Washington voters in 2012 is a definition of marijuana that includes only delta-9 THC. Scientists note that THC-A, or tetrahydrocannabinol acid, is not intoxicating in its original form and is only converted to delta-9 THC through a heating process. By measuring both substances they believe they can get a more accurate indication of the intoxicating potential of any sample.

Industrial hemp legislation has been introduced in several states during the 2013 legislative cycle. Both Washington and Colorado legalized the recreational use of marijuana for all adults in 2012; both states are in the process of defining what those legalized programs will look like.

Source: The Compassion Chronicles


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"Rick Thompson was the Editor in Chief for the entire 2-year run of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine, was the spokesman for the Michigan Association of Compassion Centers and is the current Editor and Lead Blogger for The Compassion Chronicles. Rick has addressed committees in both the House and Senate, has authored over 200 articles on marijuana and is a professional photographer." Rick Thompson Is An Author At The Compassion Chronicles and focuses on all things Michigan.


  1. What’s happening, freedom lovers? If anyone knows who will be opening weed stores in Washington State, you can tell them that BuyPotWashington dot Com is available for sale on Godaddy.

  2. SteveSarich on

    Correction, Ben. This is not a “loophole” in the law. The cops are simply not telling the truth. I testified at the hearing on this bill…watch the video on TVW. This is about the toxicology lab and law enforcement refusing to buy the correct testing equipment that would differentiate THC from THCA. According to Analytical 360, a Seattle lab specializing in testing cannabis, nearly all the cannabis samples they’ve tested are at least double the .3% threshold. Even some of the committee members weren’t buying this bullshit and three of them voted “Do Not Pass” on the bill….then voted for it later anyway after some serious arm twisting by the law enforcement lobby.

    The toxicology lab’s problem is that by using a gas spectrometer, instead of HPLC (high pressure liquid chromotography), they are heating the sample they’re testing (burning it to create a gas), which HPLC does not do. When you heat the THCA that changes it’s chemical composition to THC. This means the mere act of testing the sample is altering the evidence, not just testing it. They are not allowed to alter the evidence and that’s their legal problem.

    They also lied and said that a single test using HPLC takes half a day of a lab technicians time. Analytical 360 confirmed that one of their lab technicians can test 150 samples a day. This wasn’t just a little lie…it was a whopper!

    So rather than simply buying a new machine, they altered the definition in the initiative instead.

    So they’ve shown that they can easily alter the initiative. It took only one hearing, and two days, to get a 99% vote out of both the Senate and House. So why haven’t they gotten rid of the per se DUID as promised? That’s the real question we need to be asking them! With the Colorado legislature talking seriously about overturning their “legalization” initiative (64), we should all take note of how easily, and quickly, the Washington State legislature could do exactly the same thing with I-502….any time they want.

    This is why we HAVE to keep medical separate from the I-502 juggernaut! More and more legislators are now suffering “buyers remorse” as the Liquor Control Board drags it’s feet on implementing the provisions of I-502 and with no possible prospect of ANY tax money coming out of I-502 for another year, their golden goose is looking more like a very expensive turkey. Law enforcement is extremely upset with the fact that the “legal” recreational pot market has been totally surrendered to the black market….the same black market it was, supposedly, “carefully crafted” to destroy. Gee….who didn’t see that one coming?:-)

    Steve Sarich
    Cannabis Action Coalition


  3. Ben Livingston on

    This isn’t about hemp, dudes. Our state crime lab and prosecutors said that nearly all pot is legal now because of this “loophole” in the law, so they are moving to re-criminalize all of this now-legal pot. Jimbo: HB 1888 is certainly not moving to the governor’s desk, not sure what made you read that into this meta-analysis of an Associated Press article.

  4. Finally a true definition has been made, maybe
    now our country will see that growing Hemp is yet another untapped
    economic recovery– We are the worlds largest consumer of Hemp, and we
    have to import all of it. Our American farming families cannot grow this
    crop- Why? because it happens to look like Medicine?

  5. So pleased to see this bill 1888 is moving to the governors desk. I testified to the committee early this month. .as the only non paid business responding to the need for this distinction. Our new company, manufacturing local eco pet toys, imports industrial hemp products now.. we want to use LOCAL!.. our toys are created with hemp rope and hemp webbing.. check us out at http://www.ballboyshop.com get some! ..

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