Idaho State Police may get tests to tell apart hemp and pot

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho State Police may purchase equipment that would allow investigators to distinguish hemp from marijuana.

The Idaho Statesman reports that the state legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Friday approved about $240,000 for three testing devices for crime labs in Meridian, Pocatello and Coeur d’Alene.

The funding must be approved by the House and Senate.

Hemp, a cousin of marijuana, has a very low concentration of the psychoactive substance called THC that gives marijuana its high-inducing properties.

But Idaho troopers don’t have field tests that can tell the difference between marijuana — which is federally illegal — and hemp.

The issue came to a head in January when Idaho troopers seized a truckload of what they said was marijuana.

The company shipping the product says it is hemp and sued.