Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Final Text


Amendments to Permit the Approval of Alternative Field Tests and ...
Stage: Final
7/27/23  2:51 PM
6VAC40-50-10 Definitions

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Agency" means any federal, state, or local government law-enforcement organization in the Commonwealth.

"Approval authority" means the Director of the Department of Forensic Science or his the director's designee.

"Cannabis plant material" means any part of the plant Cannabis sativa.

"Department" means the Department of Forensic Science.

"Industrial hemp" means industrial hemp as defined in § 3.2-4112 of the Code of Virginia.

"List of approved marijuana field tests" means a list of Duquenois-Levine field tests approved by the department for use by law-enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth and periodically published by the department in the Virginia Register of Regulations in accordance with § 19.2-188.1 of the Code of Virginia.

"Manufacturer" means any entity that makes or assembles marijuana field tests or marijuana field test kits to be used by any law-enforcement officer or agency in the Commonwealth for the purpose of detecting marijuana plant material.

"Manufacturer's instructions and claims" means those testing procedures, requirements, instructions, precautions, and proposed conclusions that are published by the manufacturer and supplied with the marijuana field tests or marijuana field test kits.

"Marijuana" means marijuana as defined in § 18.2-247 § 4.1-600 of the Code of Virginia.

"Marijuana field test" means any Duquenois-Levine chemical test unit, combination of chemical tests, or mobile instrument used outside of a chemical forensic laboratory environment to detect the presence of marijuana plant material.

"Marijuana field test kit" means a combination of individual marijuana field test units.

6VAC40-50-20 Authority for approval

Section 19.2-188.1 of the Code of Virginia provides that the Department of Forensic Science shall approve marijuana field tests for use by law-enforcement officers to enable them to testify to the results obtained in any trial for a violation of § 18.2-250.1 § 4.1-1105.1 of the Code of Virginia regarding whether or not any plant material, the identity of which is at issue, is marijuana.

6VAC40-50-30 Request for evaluation

A. Any manufacturer who wishes to submit marijuana field tests or marijuana field test kits for evaluation pursuant to this chapter shall submit a written request for evaluation to the department director at the following address:


Department of Forensic Science

700 North Fifth Street

Richmond, VA 23219

B. Materials For chemical tests, materials sufficient for at least 10 20 marijuana field tests shall be supplied by each manufacturer. The materials shall include any foundational validation studies and all instructions, precautions, color charts, flow charts, and the like which that are provided with the marijuana field test or marijuana field test kit and that describe the use and interpretation of the tests. C. The manufacturer shall also include exact specifications as to the chemical composition of all chemicals or reagents, if any, used in the marijuana field tests. These shall include the volume or weight of the chemicals and the nature of their packaging. Material safety Safety data sheets for each chemical or reagent shall be sufficient for this purpose.

C. For mobile instruments, two nonsequentially manufactured instruments and supporting materials shall be supplied for each model for which the manufacturer requests evaluation. These materials shall include all instructions, all training materials regarding the use of the instruments by law enforcement, the instrument specifications, and any foundational validation studies. If the manufacturer provides training for users of the instruments beyond the written instructional materials, such training shall be made available for the evaluation. The instruments shall be returned to the manufacturer upon completion of the evaluation.

D. The department's evaluation process may require up to 90 days from the receipt of the written request and all needed materials from the manufacturer.

E. The department will use marijuana Cannabis plant material, including both marijuana and industrial hemp, to assess those marijuana field tests submitted for evaluation. In order to be approved, the marijuana field test must correctly and consistently react in a clearly observable fashion to the naked eye, and distinguish marijuana from industrial hemp. The field test must perform in accordance with manufacturer's instructions and claims and offer convenience and efficiency in operation as determined by the department.

6VAC40-50-40 Notice of decision

The department will notify each manufacturer in writing of the approval or disapproval of each marijuana field test for which evaluation was requested. Should any marijuana field test not be approved, the manufacturer may resubmit their its request for evaluation of that marijuana field test according to the previously outlined procedures along with a detailed explanation of all alterations or changes to the test or related instructions or claims since the department's disapproval of the previously submitted test most recent evaluation of the marijuana field test.

6VAC40-50-50 Maintenance of approved status

The department may require that this evaluation be done as often as annually for routine purposes. If any modifications are made to an approved marijuana field test by the manufacturer, the department shall be notified in writing of the changes. If unreported modifications are discovered by the department, the department may require that evaluations be repeated for the particular manufacturers' manufacturer's approved marijuana field tests. The department shall notify the manufacturer in writing of this requirement. Any modified marijuana field test must be approved before it can be used in accordance with § 19.2-188.1 of the Code of Virginia. These changes shall include, but are not limited to, any chemical, procedural or, instructional, firmware, or software modifications made to the marijuana field test.

6VAC40-50-70 Liability

A. The department assumes no liability as to the safety of these marijuana field tests or marijuana field test kits, any chemicals contained therein, or the procedures and instructions by which they are used.

B. The department further assumes no responsibility for any misuse or incorrect interpretation of results.

6VAC40-50-80 Fees

Manufacturers For chemical tests, manufacturers will be charged a fee of $50 $100 for each marijuana field test for which individual evaluation is requested. For mobile instruments, manufacturers will be charged a fee of $500 for each model of the mobile instrument for which evaluation is requested. Manufacturers will also be charged the cost to the department, if any, of obtaining marijuana and industrial hemp samples for the evaluation. The department will review the manufacturer's request and notify the manufacturer in writing of the amount due before evaluation begins. Manufacturers who wish to withdraw a request for evaluation shall immediately notify the department in writing. The department's assessment of the amount of payment required will be based upon a detailed review of the manufacturer's request and that amount will be final. The evaluation process will not be initiated before full payment is made to the Treasurer of Virginia.