Texas Governor Greg Abbott was busy last week as he signed not one, but two bills related to hemp & marijuana into law. The bills, HBs 1325 and 3703, were passed unanimously by the Texas House and Senate right before they wrapped up their legislative session. The bills, now laws, are both important steps forward for Texas, but they aren’t without restrictions. Let’s take a look at what the new legislature means for Texans.
Breaking Down HB 1325
The first bill Gov. Abbott signed, HB 1325, focuses on the legality of growing hemp & selling hemp products, like CBD, in the state. Hemp is legally defined as a cannabis plant with less than .3% THC content. Any higher, and that plant would be considered marijuana- HB 1325 only legalizes hemp and hemp products like CBD, not marijuana. Finished hemp products must also be below the federal legal limit of .3% THC.
The new law allows Texas farmers to grow hemp- a move that many farmers are thrilled by, as hemp is a hardy crop that’s resistant to drought and able to grow in poor soil. This new revenue source could be huge in a state where farming remains abundant. Case in point- according to the Texas Department of Agriculture, 86% of Texas land is involved in some form of agricultural production, and agriculture employs 1 out of 7 working Texans.
But Texas farmers won’t be the only ones to benefit from HB 1325. Hemp production is now legal in Texas, but so is selling & purchasing hemp-derived products, namely CBD. HB 1325 also lays out clear regulations for the sale of hemp products, something that’s been lacking in the CBD industry for quite some time. With these new regulations in place, Texas CBD will now be some of the safest on the market. Here’s how.
What HB 1325 Means For CBD In Texas
The CBD market has been a bit of a free-for-all. With absolutely no regulations in place, those making & selling CBD could get away with a lot. Some CBD companies sold products that contained a fraction of the CBD they claimed to, some companies made wild marketing claims. But not anymore.HB 1325 provides rules for regulating the CBD market, ensuring products are actually what they claim to be. In this way, all Texan consumers of CBD will benefit from HB1325, as it makes purchasing CBD products safer and ensures the products themselves are reliable.
Breaking Down HB 3703
HB 3703 sets out to broaden Texas’ medical marijuana program. Called the Compassionate Use Program, it was one of the most restrictive medical marijuana programs in the country. The only condition it covered was intractable epilepsy, and it only allowed tinctures with up to .5% THC content. HB 3703 expands the list of conditions covered by the Compassionate Use Program to include terminal cancer, autism, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), seizure disorders and incurable neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s Disease. The limit of up to .5% THC will remain in place.
For Texans with one of the conditions now covered, this is great news- but many are saying it doesn’t go far enough. Some conditions that are included in other medical marijuana programs, like PTSD, are noticeably absent from this bill’s list of approved conditions. And for people whose condition wasn’t included, the wait is back on. The Texas Legislature only convenes every two years, which means a two-year wait before more conditions can be added.
While we celebrate the progress in Texas, we also wish more Texans dealing with serious medical conditions would benefit from these changes.
Growing Hemp In Texas- A Brief Guide
Since the passage of the bill (House Bill 1325), the state of Texas legalized the production, packaging and sale of all hemp-related products. A year after the bill passed, USDA gave the green light for the state’s plan for hemp cultivation. This means that currently, CBD products with a less or equals to 0.3% of Delta 9 THC are legal to sell, make and ingest in Texas.
Before the Farm Bill
Everyone knows the 2018 Farm Bill. That amazing piece of legislation that made hemp legal throughout the country. But before then, Texas already had a law in place. Senate Bill 339, also known as the Compassionate Use Act, made it legal for doctors to prescribe cannabis products with low THC level to epileptic patients. The bill limited the amount of THC present in all prescribed products to less than 0.5% THC.
After the Farm Bill
The government gave the green light on hemp legalization in 2018, it wasn’t until 2019 that Texas formally acknowledged it. Governor Greg Abbott’s signature of the 2019 House Bill 1325 removed the Schedule 1 status from industrial hemp. This allows for the cultivation, sale and manufacturing of all hemp-derived goods.
Growing Hemp Flower in Texas
Lawmakers got to work on Texas’s guidelines for hemp cultivation as soon as Governor Abbott signed HB 1325 in 2019. And as soon as their plans were complete, a copy of this plan was sent to USDA for approval which was given after a few revisions had been made. And since March 2020, licensing applications for the state’s growing hemp industry has been open with the state’s first legal hemp farm opening north of Austin, a couple of months ago. That means growing hemp in Texas is very much possible!
To grow hemp in Texas, all you need to do is send your application through the TDA’s official portal. The parastatal also requires all applicants to watch a hemp orientation video before submitting their application.
Is It Legal To Sell CBD Hemp Flower In Texas?
Truthfully, we cannot say it is legal to sell or use smokable hemp flowable in Texas. HB 1325 has no provision to allow farmers produce hemp flowers for smoking. A few months after the law passed, legislators completely banned the sale of smokable hemp products. However, some companies have taken the state to court over this new ban. Till there is a resolution there, smokable hemp is technically legal in Texas.
We have a wide array of CBD and THC products including some yummy gummies, some CBD flower, CBD oil and so much more. To begin your THC journey visit our store here and to read more about hemp, its benefits, uses and so much more, feel free to go through our blog here.
Want to know more about the legalization of CBD? Check out our blog on the 2018 Farm Bill here!