Temporary Restraining Order Granted Against the State, Preventing Enforcement of Smokable Hemp Ban

Update from Ritter Spencer, the firm heading up this lawsuit:

“The District Court has entered an order [yesterday] extending the temporary restraining order enjoining DSHS from enforcement of its ban against smokable hemp in Texas until the hearing on our application for temporary injunctive relief on September 14, 2020.”

Bottom line: if a business was legally selling smokable hemp products before August 1, when the new (and unlawful, IMO) regulations went into effect, they may continue doing so until at least Sept. 14. Stay tuned for updates!

(See below for more information about the lawsuit, restraining order, and backstory.)

Today in Travis County, Judge Lora Livingston granted a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), protecting hemp businesses that sell smokable hemp products in Texas.

Last year, the Texas Legislature authorized the cultivation, manufacturing, and sale of hemp and hemp products. While the law restricts in-state manufacturing of smokable hemp products, it does not restrict the in-state sale of these products. An arbitrary restriction put in place by the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) on August 1 oversteps the department’s rule-making authority, banning the sale of a product that is completely legal for Texans to possess and consume.

This TRO maintains the law as it was before DSHS instituted their unlawful regulation, protects Texas business owners, and gives time for attorneys to prepare for a Temporary Injunction hearing on September 2.

“No enforcement of the new rule.” – Judge Livingston

When this unlawful rule was originally proposed last fall, we mobilized the grassroots, generating hundreds of public comments during the rule-making process. Here’s some of the backstory.

Note: It has been clarified that this ban would not prohibit the sale of loose hemp flower as long as it’s not marketed for smoking. It would ban hemp flower pre-rolls and CBD vape cartridges.

Stay tuned for updates as legal proceedings continue.