Departments of Agriculture and Health partner to offer Pa. hemp growers new testing resources

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Departments of Agriculture and Health announced a new partnership to make Pennsylvania’s six medical marijuana testing laboratories available to the agriculture industry for testing hemp crops for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels.

“Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine has been a great friend to Pennsylvania agriculture, as we’ve worked to keep the industry healthy and moving and comply with federal law throughout 2020,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “This partnership is just one more example, and we’re grateful to the Department of Health for helping to make these labs available to Pennsylvania’s new and growing hemp industry as they work to meet testing requirements during a very tight, critical harvest window.”

For the 2020 growing season, Pennsylvania has 510 farms growing approximately 3,000 acres of hemp across the commonwealth. Every hemp lot in Pennsylvania is required to be sampled and tested to show a THC level at or below 0.3 percent. Anything above that level is considered marijuana. Prior to the availability of medical marijuana laboratories for hemp growers, 13 in-state and out-of-state labs were available to hemp growers for required potency testing.

“The Department of Health is pleased to collaborate with the Department of Agriculture as part of their hemp program,” Dr. Levine said. “We are committed to ensuring that Pennsylvanians have access to medicine that is regulated and approved. The laboratories that are part of the medical marijuana program have been key partners in our program, and we believe they will play a key role in assisting the Department of Agriculture as well.”

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