What’s happening with hemp? (And some upcoming events!)

Earlier this year, both the federal and state governments legalized low-THC (.3%) cannabis (aka hemp) for industrial purposes and consumable products. The Texas Hemp Program is mostly regulated by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), but consumable hemp products are regulated by the Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

On October 3, DSHS held a public hearing on Austin to accept comments about the regulation of consumable hemp products (including CBD) and the permitting of retailers who sell these products. Here’s a video of the hearing, courtesy of the Foundation for an Informed Texas, one of our valued coalition partners. And here is the presentation offered by DSHS.

No decisions were made at this meeting, but we can expect draft rules to be available in coming weeks. One thing we do know: a permit will be required for retailers who wish to sell hemp products.

DSHS Hemp Resource Page (VERY informative): https://www.dshs.texas.gov/consumerprotection/hemp-program/default.aspx

What’s the status of cultivation and processing under the Texas Hemp Program? 

Our state regulators are stuck in a holding pattern until the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirms their standards for approving state programs, a step that’s required federal law. Once the TDA has had their general plan approved by the USDA, we can begin the state-level rule-making process, including a public comment period after a draft of the rules is available. After rules are finalized, TDA can move forward with permitting in-state hemp cultivation and processing.

Issues with Marijuana Law Enforcement

With the legalization of hemp, Texas law enforcement has been put in a tough position: how much are they willing to spend to prosecute people for marijuana? Since testing to determine the exact level of THC in a cannabis product is very expensive, many local law enforcement officials are declining to arrest/prosecute people for small amounts of marijuana. Others are digging in.

I was recently featured on Fox News to discuss Texas cannabis policy, including the legalization of hemp, marijuana law enforcement, and our efforts to decriminalize state wide.

Upcoming Events

Austin: Tuesday, October 15 — Legalizing Marijuana: What are the Economic, Social, and Cultural Impacts? (Location: LBJ Library at UT Austin – Details here.)

Austin: Thursday, October 17 — Texas Hemp Walking Tours — I’ll be speaking during the happy hour at 7:30pm. (Location: The Venue – Details here.)

Fort Worth: Saturday, October 19 — Cannabiz L.A.B. (Legal, Ancillary, Branding)
(Location: Texas A&M School of Law – Details here.)

Brenham: Sunday, Oct. 20 – Tuesday, Oct. 22 — East Texas Hemp Conference (Location: The Barnhill Center – Details here.)

Statewide: Monday, October 21 — Early Voting Begins!
Local Elections, Constitutional Amendments, and Special Elections. Find out where the Texas House candidates for HD 28, HD 100, and HD 148 stand on marijuana law reform.

San Antonio: Saturday, October 26 — Green Seed Conference and Expo (Location: Norris Conference Center – Details here.)

Thank you for your continued support. Have a great week!

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