In this day and age, when the popularity of alternative medical treatments is on the rise, the versatile cannabis plant is used more than ever. For that reason, changes in the hemp law are done all around the USA, as the legalization of weed increases state by state.
Medical marijuana users are hopping onto the CBD train and trying it as a treatment option for chronic pain, depression, anxiety, seizures, and other conditions, as CBD oil continues to replace some prescription medication.
CBD laws are ever-changing, especially in the USA, as more and more states have legalized CBD products. 36 states and DC have legalized the use of medical marijuana, and the other 14 states allow the use of CBD extracts with little to no THC in the products.
In this article, we’re looking into the Lone Star State – Texas, and the laws that concern Texan hemp farming. If you’re a Texas farmer looking into the legality of hemp farming in Texas, look no further. Let’s dive into the current legal implications of growing CBD in this state.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the main non-psychoactive compounds, together with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound, are the main cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. CBD is generally taken by users as a way to reduce stress since it calms down and relaxes the body without having the additional intoxication that comes from THC.
As a versatile plant, weed is used to treat several medical conditions including chronic pain, anxiety, muscle and internal inflammation, and other conditions, which is why it’s a go-to treatment option for medical marijuana users. CBD products include CBD oil, capsules, cartridges, gummies, salves, lotions, and other products that are becoming well-liked among the medical marijuana community.
Texas Hemp and Federal Law
While THC isn’t legal in all the states, CBD and CBD products with trace amounts of THC (up to 0.3%) have been legal to cultivate, sell, and buy under federal law since the 2018 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill was a major milestone that made industrial hemp production and consumption of CBD products legal, and changed the hemp industry in the USA.
Meaning, the government removed the cultivation of the industrial hemp plant from the list of federal controlled substances and made industrial hemp flower cultivation legal in all states. The hemp farmers who decide to grow this plant must comply with the limit of THC levels that shouldn’t be higher than 0.3%, as imposed by the FDA.
The Texas Industrial Hemp Program
Before October 2019, the USDA approved the rules concerning the federal industrial hemp program that also incorporated the procedures for approving the industrial hemp plants which eventually led to the creation of the industrial hemp program.
On the other hand, smokable hemp got banned in 2020, which made it illegal for CBD stores and other retailers to sell smokable hemp products.
At the 86th Legislative Session, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1322 which enabled people to grow industrial hemp and all parts of the hemp plant. The bill defines the licensing process for people wishing to manufacture or sell consumable hemp products.
Is Industrial Hemp Production Legal in Texas?
In 2015, Gov. Greg Abbott signed the Texas Compassionate Use Act, which allows the use of low-THC cannabis oil (less than 0.5% THC) for the treatment of epilepsy. A few years later, in June 2019, he also signed House Bill 1325 into law. The bill legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp (with less than 0.3% THC) and also legalized the possession and sale of hemp-derived CBD products, without needing a doctor’s approval to buy them.
According to the Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, Texas farmers have started cultivating the hemp plant as a way to grow alternative crops with the signing of the House Bill 1325. This bill comes as a result of the industrial hemp program, passed by the Texas Department of Agriculture and the Texas Department of State Health Services in 2019.
The above not only enabled Texas farmers to grow the industrial cannabis plant, but also permitted the production, manufacture, retail sale, and inspection of industrial hemp crops that allowed farmers to cultivate consumable hemp products from the hemp plant and sell their CBD products.
The hemp plant proposal was submitted to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) at the end of December 2019, and it was approved in early 2020 by Texas lawmakers.
Licensing for Industrial Hemp Production
Together with the bill that authorised the sale of consumable hemp, lawmakers defined the application process for acquiring new licenses for industrial hemp cultivation. Growers who want to plant industrial hemp would need to apply for a license through the Texas Department of Agriculture’s website and comply with their rules and regulations.
Furthermore, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service provides additional information and resources to growers who want to start cultivating the hemp plant and grow better quality yields.
In order to receive the authorization to plant, the holder applying for the licensing needs to obtain a lot permit, and then plant hemp crops. The hemp crops that are allowed to plant are single approved varieties of crops approved for cultivation by the TDA.
Final Thoughts for Texan Hemp Farmers
Hemp production is increasing all around the world as more and more CBD products emerge on the market. More than 15 states across the US have legalized the production of the industrial hemp plant, and more are expected to follow in the near future.
Since the hemp plant is one of the many natural plants that can aid in treating various diseases in humans because of the various cannabinoids present in the plant, there are more and more hemp growers who are starting to cultivate it.
Texan hemp farmers have been allowed to grow this powerful plant with the signing of the House Bill 1325 which came into law in 2019. Therefore, farmers can cultivate hemp plants that contain no more than 0.3% of THC in accordance with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines.