The report reveals …

ndustry members worry the limitation could delay THC testing and create bottlenecks, especially in remote areas far from a DEA-registered lab.

“It appears that many of the existing (DEA) labs don’t have the equipment and capacity to service the hemp industry,” cannabis attorney Shawn Hauser of Denver-based firm Vicente Sederberg said last week during a webcast with Hemp Industry Daily.

The rules propose that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) may establish an approval process for labs that want to offer THC testing services. Those labs would need certification by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which could be a suitable alternative, according to Hauser.

If the USDA chooses to approve testing labs, it could accredit laboratories that perform to a certain quality, in addition to requiring a particular ISO accreditation.

This is a departure for the DEA, which does not require labs to be accredited to handle narcotics. However, the USDA-approved labs would still have to be registered with the DEA.

The alternate testing protocol “would give USDA the proper oversight of the laboratories doing the testing, providing quality assurance and control procedures that ensure a validated and qualified analysis, and defensible data,” the interim rules state.

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‘The DEA is mentioned 42 times’: Hemp industry disturbed by agency’s involvement in THC testing rules