AUSTIN, Texas – Governor Greg Abbot has signed new legislation legalizing industrial hemp and CBD.
The new law is effective immediately and sets up a regulatory structure for overseeing cultivation. Authorities will be able to test samples and inspect farms. All hemp-derived products, including CBD, may contain no more than 0.3 percent THC.
Although CBD products have already been available on many Texas store shelves, they technically were not legal. Now, products meeting the standards set in the bill can legally be sold to customers.
While Abbot has not publicized the bill’s signing or made any comments on the record, others in Texas are very excited about the new legislation.
“I am excited that we have taken one more step towards giving producers in Texas the opportunity to grow hemp,” Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said in a statement. “Texas will be a leader in hemp production, and we will be submitting our plan and writing rules to follow the 2018 Farm Bill and the law recently enacted in Texas.
Miller also believes the new law will help Texas farmers.
“This will be another tool for farmers that are looking to diversify their farming operations.”
The law will do more than just help Texas farmers, it removes criminality for hemp production. Before Abbot signed the bill, Texas law did not recognize any difference between hemp and cannabis. Its production was a risky endeavor, despite the fact it produces no psychedelic effects and is considered effective at providing relief for a variety of ailments.
“The Texas Legislature got at least one thing right this session when they legalized hemp. Finally, Texas farmers are no longer cut out of this lucrative agricultural market. Plus, Texans are now free to use CBD without fear of arrest,” Heather Fazio, director of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, said in a statement.
In December, the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, or farm bill, removed industrial hemp as a Schedule I narcotic. However, Texas did not immediately follow suit.
Despite the trend of CBD legalization, a recent hearing about CBD by the FDA highlighted the lack of legal clarity producers still are experiencing.