Webinar presenter Bill Loucks answered a number of your questions after his presentation, Hemp for Law Enforcement. Here are just a few of his responses.
Audience Question: Just to clarify you have to have a license for both marijuana and hemp, is that right?
Bill Loucks: It depends on the state, basically if you have to have a license to grow or cultivate in the legalized states then yes. Everywhere across the United States even if it is legalized. If weed is legalized, both recreational medical, yes, you still have to have a license to grow hemp. Again, it’s obscure and it’s obscure with a commodity as an agricultural commodity because it requires a license, can’t change it. Nobody came to us and said, “Hey, cops, law enforcement, criminal justice system, where could this be a hiccup for you?” It was thrown on our way, so yes, you do have to have a license to grow it.
Audience Question: If I happen to live in a state where recreational marijuana is legal, do we still need to be able to tell the difference?
Bill Loucks: Absolutely, think about this, if I was moving hemp, if I’m moving weed, recreational weed, from California and I’m driving into Washington, can I take my weed from California that I purchased in California and to Washington? And, the answer is, no it’s not supposed to cross state lines. It’s tax different, goes to different databases. So, particularly like an East Coast, some guys going for like Michigan, Ohio. They are running into some of the legalized states where somebody will come in and they’ll transport marijuana and say it’s hemp. So, yes, you don’t have to have a license to move it. But it becomes a factor in the legalized states. Really, really bad because people are trying to use it, say you’re in a state that’s medical only, medical weed only. You make a traffic stop of somebody and somebody’s got a pound and a half of something that they look at you and say, “Hey, officer, this is hemp.” How can you make that determination? So, there’s no licensing for transportation. Your licensing is only for growing. That’s it. Some states have a database of some rules in place like Tennessee. There’s a notification of movement. If I’m going to take a rooted hemp plant and move it from, say, the farm to the processing facility. I have to notify the Tennessee Department of Agriculture within so many hours of the time of movement. That’s available on the database. So, if you run across that load on the interstate, you should effectively be able to actually grab a hold of that information, capture that information off of the Department of Ag’s website.
Audience Question: So, it sounds like what you’re saying is that regardless of whether marijuana is legal in my state or not legal in my state, all law enforcement really should start coming up to speed on the difference between hemp and marijuana?
Bill Loucks: Yes. Because I can discuss, for hours alone, on current lawsuits, where somebody’s mistaken hemp for marijuana. I’d rather, you, let weed walk than arrest somebody for hemp. That’s the best and safest way to go.
Audience Question: Is crude the same as wax or dabs?
Bill Loucks: Wax, dabs are basically the same thing. Their refinement process is a little bit different. The only difference between them is the method in which they’re used. Say if I made a plate of lasagna and Chris you’ve made up a pan of lasagna. We may have the same ingredients in there but, the way you processed and cooked your lasagna and make your lasagna look different than mine, essentially. So, yes, it is. It’s along the same lines, it’s just different in one extraction process. If you get to the distillate, it’s a second extraction process.
Host: I loved your analogy. So, the analogies really are helpful, I really appreciate the analogies you came up with.
Audience Question: What about delta-8 and delta-10. Can you explain that a little bit?
Bill Loucks: Delta-8 and I understand what the DEA’s take and, I’m not knocking DEA. The DEA says that stuff is 100% illegal. Currently, as the law is written, unless we have some actual opinion that comes down from circuit courts and stuff like that, delta-8, delta-9, delta-10, delta-12, delta-11. These are all isolated cannabinoids of the hemp plant. They will cause you to get high, okay? They are still legal, though. Didn’t want to muddy up the waters too much because it seems totally different spent. Some states have made those extracts illegal. Some of the legalized states have said that okay if you have delta-8, you have to have a medical marijuana license. And some states just have it wide open, still. So yes, they are. They will cause you to get high, but they still fall under the legalization. I have not run across somebody in state court yet of any jurisdiction that says: I’ll go ahead and try a case and lock somebody up because they had 10 grams of delta 8, charge them under marijuana charges, just haven’t seen it yet.
Audience Question: Bill you mentioned that there are what is at 16 states that have legalized marijuana? Do you explore, what are the next states that you anticipate or expect legalization to happen in next? Or do you expect or anticipate that maybe all, if not most of the States, will make it legal eventually?
Bill Loucks: The DEA towards the end of the year had made notifications that they were sending out. They were in step two, I think, of three steps to basically license or enter in an MOA, a Memorandum of Agreement with three companies, for them to grow marijuana for marijuana research. Nothing in there said medical marijuana unless I totally read it differently, I’ve had several other people read it, you know, actual attorneys, and actually said that is actually the way I’m reading it. Also, times are changing. So yes, it’s, I think ultimate federal legalization. I can’t give an opinion on it. Outside of the fact that I think it’s going to happen. I know here in North Carolina, it sits in front of our legislative body right now, for the medical side. So, just by the sheer numbers, and the fact that it’s 2021, some states and some individual jurisdictions have decriminalized things like acid, ecstasy, MDMA. I mean, there are just some things we can’t control, and it’s out of it. So, legalization, I think on the federal level, for me, just, I’m going to say. I think it will do happen. We’re missing too much of the finances right now from it. We can generate a lot of income off of it.
Audience Question: Are there any commercially available, and the key phrase here, reliable field test kits that we could be using in our cars to be able to test and know for sure the difference?
Bill Loucks: I’ll tell you the ones I like. Detectachem, I’m comfortable with that system. It’s worked well. I’ve seen others, I’ve seen Swabtek on here. I know ———- and stuff has that. I just really like Detectachem, again, it’s been reliable, I’ve tried to throw in some cross-contamination factors in it, in testing and stuff like that, and they’ve still come up with a good result. I haven’t seen anything come back, lab-wise, to my knowledge that is negated the results that I’ve gotten from that field test. Now let me be clear on field testing, though. Don’t rely just on a field test, okay? It has to be that totality of circumstances. Take every piece of the puzzle. The field test is just another piece to add to that puzzle to corroborate this statement, this factual, this COA, this individual’s criminal history, this store, the licensing, whatever it is. But Detectachem, I’ve just, I’m a pure fan of it, of their kits.
Audience Question: So regardless of the reliability of the test kits, put our detective skills, our investigative skills, and our interviewing skills to work, and really correlate all of that data into a reasonable level of understanding.
Bill Loucks: Yes.
Click Here to Watch a Recording of Hemp for Law Enforcement.