Arizona hemp farmers may be feeling a bit panicked after the state’s Department of Agriculture’s Plant Services Division published a report stating that 41 percent of the hemp plants they tested had THC levels that were too high.
“It’s a high-risk deal,” said head farmer for Arizona Hemp Supply Co. Dustin Shill. “Right now, it’s just a shot in the dark really. It’s crazy.”
A Plant Services Division authority called the numbers “not unexpected,” but they were a call for alarm for some hemp business leaders.
“At 40%, that’s off the charts,” said Sully Sullivan, executive director of the Hemp Industry Trade Association of Arizona in reaction to the state’s released figures. “I’m taken aback by that. That’s substantial.”
Hemp farmers must test the THC limits on their products before going to harvest, and paying for such evaluations is often a hefty budget item. If hemp tests above the 0.3 percent legal limit for THC, farmers have no choice but to destroy their crop. In a relatively young hemp industry, that has happened often. In November, one Southern California farmer saw 10 million of their cannabis plants seized after the field tested too high on THC levels, causing a loss