The Lone Star State Legalizes Industrial Hemp And CBD

Industrial hemp in Texas
Image: HempGazette

The Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, signed an industrial hemp bill into law earlier this week – and farmers can’t wait to get started.

The legislation that made it through all the way to the winner’s circle was House Bill 1325. Other legislation was also in the works, Senate Bill 1240.

HB1325 legalises cultivation and processing of hemp and products derived from the crop, including cannabidiol (CBD). Retail stores wanting to sell CBD products will need to register with the Texas Health Department.

The Texas chapter of the Hemp Industry Association (HIA) was very pleased with the news.

“Hemp Hemp Hurray! The day finally arrived – After 5 years on working on bringing this amazing plant to Texas – with the help of many people and special thanks to Representative Tracy King and Senator Charles Perry, Governor Abbott signs the hemp bill to allow Texas farmers to grow hemp,” said the organisation.

HB 1325 made its way to the Governor’s desk with over two-thirds vote in favour in both chambers; therefore it became effective immediately after the signing. However, farmers won’t be able to sow crops just yet. The Texas Department of Agriculture will need to first establish rules that that are approved by the USDA, which may not happen until next year.

Leading up to this historic moment, in April this year an amendment removing hemp from Schedule I from the 2018 Schedules of Controlled Substances in Texas came into effect.

At the time of writing, the Texas Department of Agriculture hadn’t provided any new information post-HB1325 becoming law, but it seems there won’t be any attempts to thwart the crop’s reappearance from the Department.

“Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is a strong supporter of industrial hemp production as a new market opportunity for Texas farmers to expand their operations and grow alternative crops,” states the Department.

Back in 2018, Mr. Miller called on Congress to lift the ban on hemp production in the United States, stating it would take the shackles off American farmers – but also stressed reintroducing hemp to Texas as a legal crop would not be the thin edge of the wedge leading to the legalizing of marijuana.