Hemp-seed food creator Richard Rose of Hemprella fame has announced a new technology for processing hemp seeds that will make them “drug test compatible,” as well as easier to eat.
Lab tests from 1996 and ’97 showed that eating hemp seeds and hemp seed oil can cause positive results in THC urine tests. This apparently happens because small amounts of resin remain clinging to the seed hulls, and are transferred to the oil during pressing.
The new technique involves de-hulling the hemp seed, essentially removing the hard shell and leaving only the soft inner meat. According to HempNut, the subsidiary of Rella Good Cheese Company which developed the technique, the de-hulled seed is 40% more nutritious by weight than whole hemp seed, and also more palatable.
In December 1997, and then again in May 1998, juries overturned military court martials after being told that hemp oil can cause a positive result for marijuana on a urine test. In response, the US Air Force banned any hemp oil consumption by all active-duty and reserve members in January 1999.
Despite the ban, on February 16 it was reported that Air Force One had served Hemp Golden Beer to President Clinton, members of Congress and some reporters. A few days later Anita Roddick of the Body Shop sent Clinton a package of hemp products and a letter, congratulating him for “breaking the hemp barrier.”
A recent study has concluded that drug testing reduces employee productivity. The Le Moyne College Institute of Industrial Relations examined 63 firms, using economic models to calculate the effect of drug-testing programs on productivity. The study, released last November, found that pre-employment and random drug testing resulted in almost 20% lower productivity. The authors speculated that drug tests “may create a negative work environment, or cause substitutions of more dangerous drugs or alcohol.”
In October, the US Congress passed legislation to provide federal incentives for small businesses to adopt workplace drug testing.
Last November, Jamaican customs officials announced they would begin forcing random passengers at their international airports to take urine tests for illegal drugs. Anyone testing positive will be taken to the hospital for cavity searches and x-rays to see if they are smuggling anything.