Texas Governor Greg Abbott Signs Bill Legalizing Hemp In Texas
June 11, 2019
The hemp industry and PrimeMyBody had a tremendous victory today as Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed H.B. 1325 into law. This new law aligns the state of Texas with federal law regarding the regulation and production of hemp following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. In doing so, Texas has established a legal means of regulating the production, shipment, and growth of hemp within the state. The law distinguishes between hemp and marijuana, removing hemp and all hemp-derived materials from the controlled substance list, so long as they remain at or below the federally approved level of 0.3% THC. This law allows for Texas to regulate hemp production while reaping the economic benefits of the booming hemp industry.
As the home state of PrimeMyBody, this recent legislation is monumental for our company’s growth. Without the active involvement of our legal team and the incredible support from our Affiliates this bill would have been dead on arrival.
What Is H.B. 1325?
H.B. 1325 was originally introduced by Texas Representative Tracy King (D-Batesville) earlier this year amidst stark competition and a skeptical legislature. This was one of 59 bills introduced this legislative session regarding hemp regulation, but was the only bill with the legs and political backing to pass with almost unanimous support in both the House and Senate.
The success or failure of a bill making its way through a complicated legislative system depends on a multitude of factors. In this case, there were three key public influences that strongly supported the life cycle of H.B. 1325 and propelled it out of committee and onto the Gov. Abbott’s desk. Back in February, the Hemp advocacy group U.S. Hemp Roundtable announced a little known provision in most state’s laws requiring them to comply with federal regulations. This would require states like Texas to adhere to the guidelines laid out for hemp regulation in the 2018 Farm Bill. Following this, hemp was declassified by Agricultural Commissioner Sid Miller who began promoting the economic and farming benefits of hemp for the state of Texas. Lastly, the public endorsement by Rick Hardcastle last month in the Dallas Morning News normalized the use of hemp oil and highlighted the tremendous health benefits of our product.
The law states that the intent of the legislature is to establish a means of regulating the production of hemp within the state of Texas. The law defines hemp as the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of the plant including all derivatives that have a concentration of 0.3% THC or less. The law outlines a detailed plan to regulate the growth of hemp and permit in- and out-of-state sales and distribution. If you’d like to read the law in its entirety, the enrolled version can be found here.
As stipulated in the 2018 Farm Bill, the Texas Department of Agriculture will send their plan to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for approval. They also plan to work with the Texas Department of Safety in order to ensure ease of transportation via a certification program in order to prevent any confusion between the hemp plant and marijuana—which remains illegal under this law. Jurisdiction over the hemp program would fall to the Texas Department of Agriculture once the plan is approved with a certification program in place no later than 2020. The Department of State Health services will have jurisdiction in consultation over consumable hemp products and the Department of Agriculture will ensure that certification for these products meets necessary requirements for a food product as defined by the Department of State Health.
For a more thorough synopsis of the law, you can click here for a section-by-section breakdown.
The Implications of This Law Reach Beyond the State of Texas.
Texas is the economic leader of the southern gulf states. Legislation passed with such widespread support here will have a sweeping effect in problematic states such as Louisiana and Mississippi. While this is definitely a cause for celebration there is still a great deal of work left to ensure the future of hemp is secure in Texas. Much of H.B. 1325 points to future rulemaking at the hands of various departments such as the Department of State Health Services and the Department of Safety. In order to ensure that the hemp industry is protected and allowed to function independently as other industries in the state, we will continue to ensure that the rules support a healthy environment for PrimeMyBody to thrive.
Thanks to a provision within the Texas Constitution, a bill with a majority vote like H.B. 1325 will go into effect immediately irrespective of the ongoing work by various departments. With this historic signing, hemp and CBD oil are now legal under both federal and Texas state law. This legislation, coupled with the incredible momentum of our Affiliates in their dedication to our hemp products presents a wonderful opportunity for PrimeMyBody to experience even greater growth throughout the year as we continue to be an industry leader in the ever-expanding business of hemp.