The city of Tallahassee, Florida will stop prosecuting cannabis cases due to confusion after hemp was legalized, causing something of a legislative conundrum for Florida law enforcement.
According to WCTV, law enforcement agencies and state officials are having a difficult time distinguishing cannabis with THC from hemp.
Even though legislation is on the books that states that detailing that cannabis is legal if it contains less than 0.3 percent THC, it’s difficult to determine without a lab test whether edibles, plants, etc. contain enough THC to make them illegal, and often the red tape of seizing something and then apologizing later isn’t worth it. “It’s the same thing as if somebody looked at a glass of alcohol. You might be able to smell and tell that there’s alcohol, but you couldn’t look or smell and say what the proof of it is,” said State Attorney of Florida’s 2nd Judicial Circuit Jack Campbell.
Currently, there is no field test available that can make that distinction when it comes to cannabis. Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried is in charge of the cannabis program, and is currently working on a test that would help distinguish between cannabis and hemp. However, Campbell said the results of such a test would have to be proven in court. “I have to be able to show that this test works. That it is scientifically validated,” said Campbell. “I think you’re going to have some agencies that are going to continue to arrest and seize. I think you are going to have some that are going to be concerned about possible wrongful arrest.”
Although it’s been happening slowly, Florida has been making some progress in the cannabis realm. Florida recently lifted the smoking ban on medical cannabis and new companies are starting to open up and move forward in the state. This may be the next step in Florida getting rid of some of these distinctions.