Texas Hemp: Public Hearing Set for October 3 in Austin

Texas is preparing to crack down on hemp and CBD sales.

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will host a public hearing on October 3 in Austin to accept comments about the regulation of consumable hemp products (including CBD) and the permitting of retailers who sell these products.

While we certainly support reasonable regulations, it’s important that we are vigilant so DSHS doesn’t create unreasonable restrictions on hemp products, which are helping so many Texans. Here is a great FAQ, including the scope of work they’ve been tasked with. If you would like to submit your input, you can do so in person on October 3 or via email:DSHSHempProgram@dshs.texas.gov.

What’s the status of the Texas Hemp Program?

While DSHS is in charge of regulating consumable hemp products, our hemp program is mostly regulated by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA). Before establishing our state rules, TDA must submit their plan to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) for approval.

As of today, the USDA is still working to determine their standards for vetting state plans. These standards could be finalized any day now and, once our state plan has been approved, TDA can proceed with rule-making. After rules are finalized, TDA can move forward with permitting in-state hemp cultivation and manufacturing.

Interesting Note: Our Texas hemp law prohibits in-state manufacturing of “smokeable” hemp products. However, it does not prohibit the sale, possession, or use of smokeable hemp that has been imported from another state. Earlier this month, Federal Judge Sarah Evans Barker of the Southern District of Indiana ruled that Indiana’s law criminalizing the manufacture smokable hemp is unconstitutional. 

It will be interesting to see how this affects Texas’ law and implementation.

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