Frequently Asked Questions for DFS Policy Notices
Marijuana Submission Policy
Why is DFS no longer accepting plant material for simple possession of marijuana?
- In an effort to decrease turnaround times for all Controlled Substances cases, the implementation of this policy will decrease the amount of items received and allow for more efficient and effective operations. Further, since 19.2-188.1(B) allows for law enforcement to testify to the results of any DFS approved marijuana field test, there is no loss of service to our customers.
Can I still submit a suspected marijuana pipe for analysis?
- Yes, field test kits are only approved for use on plant material. Residue samples may be submitted for testing without a court order.
What if the results of the marijuana field test kit are inconclusive?
- If the results of the field test are not conclusive, the item should be submitted to the laboratory for testing. A court order is not required to be attached. It must be noted on the Request for Laboratory Examination (RFLE) that the field test kit results were inconclusive.
Does the revised marijuana submission policy apply to felony possession of marijuana by prisoners?
- No, DFS will continue to analyze, without a court order, plant material in cases involving felony possession of marijuana by prisoners. Please note “felony possession” on the RFLE when submitting this evidence.
Can the Duquenois-Levine field test tell the difference between hemp and marijuana?
- No, the Duquenois-Levine field test cannot distinguish marijuana from industrial hemp. For any offense occurring on or after March 21, 2019, that involves: 1) plant material packaged and labelled as a "hemp product;" or 2) a defendant that has raised the industrial hemp affirmative defense pursuant to Virginia Code § 3.2-4113, the evidence should be submitted to the laboratory. If the affirmative defense has been raised, please note it on the Request for Laboratory Examination (RFLE) so that a quantitative analysis can be performed (once the method is available).
Does the revised marijuana submission policy apply to possession with intent to distribute marijuana cases?
- No. The policy is only applicable to cases where the charge is Possession of Marijuana.