Texas Gov. Signs Hemp Production & Medical Marijuana Expansion Bills Into LawJune 20, 2019 12:33 pm Categorised in: Uncategorized
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.
Want to know more about the legalization of CBD? Check out our blog on the 2018 Farm Bill here!