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Division of Research & Economic Development

Measurement Service Program

Specifically, we aim to become the leading provider of accredited testing, high-quality analytical and services for industrial hemp and its derivatives to farmers and hemp-focused entrepreneurs in Maryland and the region. The MSU Hemp Measurement Services Program will provide high quality measurements and customer service. We will also provide a support system to help with the interpretation of results so that our clients get the most value added to their product by working with Morgan State University.

Purification and Isolation

We will develop the capability to effectively extract desired compounds from hemp plants and isolate into light volatiles, cannabinoids, and non-volatiles using advanced organic chemistry techniques. We also intend to acquire the capability to isolate and purify THC or CBD and any other cannabinoid of interest from hemp utilizing advanced separation and purification techniques.

Analysis of Cannabinoids in Hemp 

The content of Δ9-THC is critical to distinguish industrial hemp and medical cannabis. CBD and other health beneficial cannabinoids represent the potency of industrial hemp and its products. Quantitative analytical methods for accurately measuring Δ9-THC, CBD and other major cannabinoids will be established. The longer-term goal will be to establish an accredited laboratory to support Maryland Hemp Farmers.

Moisture Measurements

Moisture content is a measurement of the concentration of water in a sample while water activity is a measurement of how available any of that water is to other things, like microorganisms.
The moisture content of properly dried and cured hemp should be around 15%. The water activity measurement should be below 0.65aw to protect against spoilage during storage. The lab will have the capability of measuring:
 Moisture by Karl Fisher Titration
 Weight Loss on Drying

Pesticide Residue Analysis

Pesticide residues present on hemp materials can pass into Cannabis products, presenting health risks to consumers. We will assist in the detection of many of the common pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, growth regulators, and other chemicals of importance to farmers.

Residual Solvent Analysis

The MSU lab can assist in the detection of many residual solvents used in hemp extract production including butane, propane, pentane, hexane, acetone, ethanol, etc.

Mycotoxin and Microbial  Screening

Mycotoxins are dangerous chemical byproducts of certain fungi. We can screen for common mycotoxins that may be present in Cannabis including various Aflatoxins and Ochratoxins. We will offer a number of services to screen for bacterial and fungal contaminations in hemp and hemp-enriched products like:

  • Yeasts and Molds E. coli and Coliforms Salmonella Botrytis
  • Aerobic Bacteria Cladosporium
  • Alternaria Mucor
  • Penicillium
  • Aspergillus
  • Mycotoxin producing fungi common to cannabis plants

Heavy Metals

The MSU lab can assist in the detection of trace metal contaminants in Hemp-related products including but not limited to Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead and Mercury.