NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is processing about 10,000 marijuana related cases across Tennessee.

Only within the last two months has the TBI come up with a two-step way of testing for THC – the color test to differ between hemp and marijuana, done in a few minutes.

Then a quantitative test to see the level of THC. Anything over 0.3 levels will result in trouble, but this takes weeks.

“It is the same plant, it is the same species. It looks the same, feels the same and reacts the same to a lot of field color tests,” said Mike Lyttle, TBI Assistant Director, Forensic Sciences Division. “This has been one of the greatest challenges in forensic science over the last couple of years, how do you tell the different between marijuana and hemp?”

The number of THC cases is too much for the TBI to handle alone, and that doesn’t include things like vaping.

THC cartridges, edibles and hard drugs like meth and fentanyl are all be tested by the forensic chemistry division at the same time.

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