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Texas Hemp Update: Regulations Adopted – License Applications Expected by March 16

At the end of 2018, hemp was legalized nationwide and in June 2019, state lawmakers instituted the Texas Hemp Program. Since then, the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA)​ and Department of State Health Services (DSHS)​ have worked to establish the regulatory infrastructure for this program, including business licensing, testing standards, and rules relating to both industrial and consumable hemp products.

Here’s the latest…

BIG NEWS: ​TDA has adopted official rules​ governing the production (cultivation), processing, handling, sampling, testing, and disposal of hemp, which is defined as cannabis with less than .3% THC. According to an article published by the Austin-American Statesman, “The Texas Department of Agriculture has said it expects to start accepting online applications for hemp licenses on March 16.“​ 

TDA also published a list of certified hemp seed varieties​. Here’s the application​ for getting additional varieties approved.

BIG PROBLEM: DSHS is responsible for licensing the manufacturing, processing, and distribution of hemp products. Draft rules published by DSHS still include a provisions that would ban the in-state sale of consumable hemp products intended for smoking or vaping

Read more about this overreach of authority and take action​ to bring the proposed rules in line with state law, which does NOT prohibit the retail sale of these legal products.

UPDATE FROM THE USDA: Federal law requires labs testing hemp be DEA-registered. Since there are not enough DEA-registered labs across the country, the USDA has decided to not enforce this requirement​ for the duration of this crop year. Texas labs testing hemp will need to be registered with TDA. 

Additionally, the USDA has identified six methods of disposal​ for “hot” crops that have levels of THC higher than .3%.

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