The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Monday that it approved Texas’ hemp regulatory plans.
This comes after the Texas legislature passed HB 1325 in 2019 legalizing hemp in Texas. HB 1325 directed the Texas Department of Agriculture to come up with federally acceptable regulatory plans.
“USDA continues to receive and review hemp production plans from states and Indian tribes on an ongoing basis. Plans previously approved include those for the states of Louisiana, New Jersey, Ohio, and the Flandreau Santee Sioux, Santa Rosa Cahuilla, and La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indian Tribes. To check the status of a plan or to review approved plans, visit: Status of State and Tribal Hemp Production Plans.” The USDA posted in a notice on its website.
“If a state or tribe has an approved plan or is in the process of developing a plan, growers must apply and be licensed or authorized under its hemp program.”
“We’ve got to get our rules approved and get our licensing program up and running, but the dominoes are dropping pretty quick. We’re almost there.” State Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said on Monday.
“This is a victory for Texas farmers…we are one step closer to giving our ag producers access to this exciting new crop opportunity”
“I think it’s great,” Robert Head, CEO of Blue Cord Farms, told Texas Cannabis Collective
“I applaud Sid Miller for getting this started and understanding that going back to the drawing board to make this market even more lucrative to the farmers and producers is part of this process. “
The USDA approving Texas’ plans for hemp just days after open discussion, is a sign that the USDA is moving at a quicker than expected pace with applications. Likewise, it is a rare move showing that the federal government is making an effort to help farmers access resources to grow this newly legalized crop. But, there is still work to be done, because the government is still ironing out a finalized set of rules.
There is still work to be done.
“It’s important that those who want to see a reasonably regulated hemp market are fully engaged in the rulemaking process, which is under way now,” said Heather Fazio of Texans For Responsible Marijuana Policy.
As well, the USDA is not the only agency working on legal framework for hemp related products. The FDA is providing oversight for the CBD market. They has stated that it could take years to iron out the regulations if congress does not come up with its own plans.