Synthetic cannabinoids and designer drugs (also known as novel psychoactive substances or NPS) have recently garnered a large amount of interest within the forensic community due to their widespread availability and increased popularity. Synthetic cannabinoids are designed to mimic the effects of marijuana, while designer drugs produce stimulant like effects.
The CFSRE currently offers free testing of seized drug packets strictly for the analysis of synthetic cannabinoids or new designer drugs to Drug Recognition Experts, enforcement officers, police agencies and other interested parties from across US. The analysis is for research purposes only and as such the results cannot be used in court, but may assist in attaining search warrants or additional evidence seizure.
Samples remain under chain of custody upon receipt and are securely stored while testing is completed. Representative sampling follows Pennsylvania guidelines. A report with the findings is issued upon completion of the testing. The CFSRE offers rapid turnaround time for these samples with most analyses being completed within two weeks of receipt of the samples. Analysis is free of charge; however, a small amount of sample is retained for further research.
The CFSRE is a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Schedule I Drug facility that utilizes state-of-the-art instrumentation including high resolution mass spectrometry and traditional techniques that aid in the identification of the botanical material and/or pills and powders.