Texas Passes Hemp and CBD Law- Effective Immediately
Texas has always been an anomaly in the hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) industry. It is the second largest state in the United States (US) by both area and population. On the one hand, it has long been home to a thriving hemp/CBD market. On the other hand, hemp and CBD have not been (officially) lawful in the state. This has created difficult, and occasionally explosive, situations. Fortunately, Texas has finally come around and enacted House Bill 1325 (HB1325), which regulates hemp production in the state. The law went into effect last night (June 10, 2019).
HB1325 has a lot going for it. What Texas lost in failing to enact a hemp bill during the five years since enactment of the federal 2014 Farm Bill it gained in watching the hemp industry evolve. Consequently, HB1325 is robust and addresses a number of issues that most state hemp laws do not. In this post I’ll give a brief summary of the most important parts of the law.
HB1325 creates a hemp cultivation program regulated by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA). It defines “hemp” exactly in line with the 2018 Farm Bill as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds of the plant and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.” It also directs the TDA to submit a plan to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) under Section 297B of the 2018 Farm Bill to regulate hemp produced in its borders.
HB1325 makes a distinction between non-consumable hemp products and consumable hemp products. A “non-consumable hemp product” is “a product that contains hemp, other than a consumable hemp product as defined by Section 443.001, Health and Safety Code. The term includes cloth, cordage, fiber, fuel, paint, paper, particleboard, and plastics derived from hemp.”
A “consumable hemp product” is “food, a drug, a device, or a cosmetic, as those terms are defined by Section 431.002, that contains hemp or one or more hemp-derived cannabinoids, including cannabidiol.” Consumable hemp products are regulated by the Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
HB1325 also contains a number of detailed provisions regarding important items such as:
- hemp testing, including “post-decarboxylation, high-performance liquid chromatography, or another similarly reliable method to determine the delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of the sample in the manner required by this subchapter” (whatever that means);
- transportation, including the development of a manifest); and
- seed certification; and
- probable cause, including this provision, “Unless a peace officer has probable cause to believe the plant material is marihuana, the peace officer may not: (1) seize the plant material; or (2) arrest the person transporting the plant material.“; and
- production and sale of consumable hemp products, including testing for harmful contaminants and detailed labeling requirements.
We look forward to Texas taking a leading role in the hemp industry and to seeing how these provisions, and the rules that will be promulgated in the wake of them, will play out. Stay tuned.
June 11, 2019
Rod Kight is an attorney who represents lawful cannabis businesses. He speaks at cannabis conferences across the country, drafts and presents cannabis legislation to foreign governments, is regularly quoted on cannabis matters in the media, and maintains the Kight on Cannabis legal blog, where he discusses legal issues affecting the cannabis industry. You can contact him here.