Industrial Hemp Growers Reminded to Test Crops Before Harvest
As Michigan’s first industrial hemp harvest gets underway, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development reminds growers they must have their crops tested for tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, content before they harvest.
“Under the Industrial Hemp Ag Pilot Program, growers are required to have pre-harvest testing to ensure their crops do not exceed 0.3 percent THC,” said Gina Alessandri, MDARD’s Industrial Hemp Program director. “Currently, MDARD’s Geagley Lab is the only approved lab for this regulatory compliance testing in Michigan.”
Growers must schedule their test with the agriculture department’s Geagley Lab on the Michigan State University campus by calling toll free (800) 292-3939. The customer call center is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Growers will be scheduled for a specific day to submit their samples for testing. Samples must be received by the date the growers are scheduled if they want to get their results back the next week,” said MDARD’s Lab Division Director Craig VanBuren. “It’s also critical that growers follow the sample collection process to ensure they get a good sample for us to test.”
Sampling needs to be done according to the department’s Procedure #MDARD-HEMP-201908-1, which can be found under the “Forms” tab at michigan.gov/IndustrialHemp.
Undried samples should be sent to the Geagley Lab, where they will be oven dried, ground, tested for moisture content, and analyzed to determine both the THC and cannabidiol (CBD) content, on a percent weight basis. The THC reported by the lab must be less than or equal to 0.3% for the crop to be compliant. Growers can submit up to three different samples from their crop. If after three samples the THC levels are more than what’s allowed, the crops cannot be used.
Results of testing will be communicated to the grower electronically by Thursday of the following week. Crops must be harvested within 15 days of the date the results are emailed to the grower, Alessandri said. It is the grower’s responsibility to regularly monitor his or her email inbox for the lab results and other regulatory reminders being sent by MDARD.
If the THC levels results exceed the concentration level allowable by law, growers may destroy the crop or repeat the testing two additional times, VanBuren explained. Crops determined to be noncompliant after the third test will be ordered destroyed.
For more information, visit the Industrial Hemp website at michigan.gov/IndustrialHemp.