Have you ever wondered whether hemp flower is legal in Texas? Though it is widely regarded as an agricultural state with its huge farms and great climate, until recently, hemp was not one of the crops grown here. The signing of the Farm bill at the end of 2018 by the U.S President opened the gateway for many States to start practicing hemp farming. This was particularly true for States which prior to this had no recreational or medical cannabis laws outlined.
This bill allowed for the cultivation of hemp as long as it had less than 0.3 % THC by dry weight.
It comes as no surprise that Texas did not immediately jump on this opportunity. However, by June of 2019, House Bill 1325 was passed by the Texas Governor, authorizing the production, manufacture, and retail sale of hemp and hemp-derived products.
As straightforward as this sounds, there are some gray areas which we will cover as we shed light on whether the license to grow hemp also gives permission for its consumption.
Join us as we find out more on this subject.
Can Texas Farmers Legally Grow Hemp?
Since the passing of House Bill 1325, yes, it is perfectly legal to grow hemp in Texas. However, one should note that a license needs to be obtained before undertaking this farming. Interested farmers must apply through the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA).
What was the process of the legalization of hemp in Texas? Let’s go through the important dates and events.
On June 10th, 2019, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law House Bill 1325. That immediately took effect.
In December of 2019, Sid Miller the TDA commissioner and his staff submitted to the USDA a plan outlining the proposed rules and regulations to govern its hemp farming program.
On January 27, 2020, the USDA approved the Texas hemp farming plan. Having been satisfied that the issues they raised with TDAs proposal were addressed.
On March 16, 2020, the Texas Department of Agriculture started taking applications having adopted its plan. Prior to this consensus, some final details were ironed out to ensure congruence.
Sid Miller announced in early April 2020 that Texas had granted its first license to grown hemp to a farmer in Killeen, Texas.
Is CBD Legal in Texas?
CBD is the non-intoxicating cannabinoid extracted from hemp and used mainly for medicinal purposes.
Now that we have determined that growing hemp in Texas is legal, is CBD sale and consumption legal as well?
The governing body which checks the regulation of consumable hemp products is called The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). Presently, registered Texas retailers are allowed to sell hemp-derived consumables operating under certain set guidelines.
Chief of these guidelines is that consumable hemp products must contain less than 0.3% THC. The products sold in both retail stores and online cannot claim any medical properties. The DSHS advises Texas residents to purchase only products that do not contain pesticides, residual solvents, heavy metals, or any other harmful contaminants.
This all seems fairly straightforward. The crux comes in with the approval of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) who have federal jurisdiction concerning CBD based products. Their word is basically law….unfortunately, they have said very little.
Being responsible for monitoring and enforcing the marketing standards of drugs, dietary supplements, food, cosmetics and devices, the FDA are also responsible for hemp products. That being said, they are yet to develop the rules and requirements for the production and marketing of CBD products. This is a federal issue and therefore affects all the states.
With the information currently available, Texas is doing its best not to interfere with the sale or consumption of CBD. State retailers currently have the freedom to sell their CBD-infused products such as tinctures, oils, vapes, edibles, topicals and hemp flower.
Texas Hemp Flower Laws
As Texas is yet to pass recreational or medical cannabis laws, it is still a challenge for law enforcement agents to distinguish between hemp flower and marijuana high in THC that still remains illegal. Unfortunately, there is no instant test that can determine whether a strain contains less than 0.3% THC. To add to this, the 1325 Bill mentioned earlier prohibits the processing of the hemp flower, specifically.
The good news is that nothing in the bill prohibits its consumption. Therefore, we can conclude that CBD is legal in Texas. If you are unable to get CBD products locally, you can purchase them online from reputable retailers.
It would be wise to err on the side of caution and smoke your roll of hemp flower under wraps.
Hemp Flower Versus Marijuana?
You might be wondering if there is a difference between hemp flower and marijuana. First, it is important to note that the flower is unique from the other hemp parts in that it has the highest CBD content. The other parts, that is the stalks, seeds and leaves also have their own distinctive uses.
Both hemp and marijuana are cannabis plants that might look and smell similarly. Hemp has trace amounts of THC and abundant amount of CBD. While marijuana has significant amounts of THC, the cannabinoid that has psychoactive effects and induces a cerebral high. Other non-intoxicating cannabinoids are CBN, CBG and CBC.
To give you some peace of mind, the U.S. Farm Bill in place prohibits the hemp flower to have more than 0.3% THC. Allowing that everyone responds different to smoking hemp, this minuscule percentage is too insignificant to produce any psychoactive effects.
CBD Hemp Flower Versus Other CBD Products?
The CBD hemp flower is consumed directly either as a roll, through a pipe or via a water bong. Because of these methods of consumption, the effect is felt immediately as the compounds enter the bloodstream almost instantly.
Other CBD products on the other hand have the extracted CBD as a key ingredient and may take a while for the effects to be fully felt. These CBD products include oils, tinctures, gummies and edibles.
It is interesting to note that in as much as the effect is instant with the hemp flower, it also dies off as fast. Effects from the other CBD products are more long lasting.
Where to Buy Hemp Flower in Texas
We advised earlier that it is always advisable to get organic, premium hemp-flower that’s been tested. If you can’t verify this, you can buy online where it’s easy to check the strain, possible effects, origin, CBD and THC percentages and lab reports issued by third-parties. Ensure you see a copy of the lab report known as the Certificate of Analysis (COA). If you are unable to find it, you can contact the CBD Company who should be able to provide it. Always ensure to buy a strain that has THC levels of less than 0.3% in keeping with the legal framework.
The feedback given by the online customers will also give you a good understanding of the experience and effects of the strain before you buy it.
I hope now you can clearly answer the question….Is hemp flower legal in Texas?