PrimeMyBody has been a pioneer in the hemp industry since 2015. As one of the first affiliate marketing companies to offer hemp extracts and hemp-based products, we’ve overcome many regulatory obstacles to get where we are today as the leading wellness company in the hemp space. Those early trials and tribulations not only helped us to build our expertise and reputation, but also allowed us to solidify healthy ongoing relationships with state-based regulators, like the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) Commissioner Sid Miller. In addition we also have engaged with and maintained good relations with Stephen Pahl, Associate Commissioner, Consumer Protection Division of the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS).
Leading all of the crucial back-end regulatory work necessary for our continued growth has been General Counsel for PrimeMyBody, W T Skip Leake—who is on the Board of Directors of PMB’s parent company Digital International Media Group Ltd. (DIMG). Leake is also Vice President of DIMG. A licensed attorney and legal practitioner, Leake is the proprietor of the law firm of WT Skip Leake PC.
It’s our great pleasure to announce that recently Skip accepted an invitation from Sid Miller to be a member of the TDA’s Texas Industrial Hemp Advisory Council. A consortium of agriculture industry leaders, farmers, agronomists, law enforcement officials, and hemp business and community leaders, the Texas Industrial Hemp Advisory Council will work directly with the TDA , providing oversight and practical assistance in writing TDA regulatory rules for growing industrial hemp in Texas under the Texas Industrial Hemp Program.
With the federal passing of the Farm Bill of 2014 and Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018—better known as the Farm Bill of 2018— industrial hemp has been reintroduced as an economically valuable agricultural crop in the U.S. The Farm Bill of 2018 federally authorizes the production of industrial hemp and removes industrial hemp from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Controlled Substances list. Overseen by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program established regulatory guidance for state-based hemp production programs. This program has set forth several regulatory guidelines such as seed and strain approval, soil sampling, THC testing, land-use standards, and more.
In response, the 2019 Texas legislature passed H.B. 1325 which legalized the growing, processing, manufacturing and use of industrial hemp in Texas. PrimeMyBody, through Leake’s input, played a major part in obtaining passage of H.B. 1325 by the Texas legislature. In effect, Leake edited and made several suggested language changes to the bill which limited licenses to sell industrial hemp products in Texas to those who had physical retail stores, and removed direct sales affiliates, such as PMB Affiliates, from any such licensing requirement to sell industrial hemp products in Texas, including PrimemyBody’s products.
Guided by USDA mandates, over the past 12 months, state legislators and regulators have been strategizing the best protocols and measures to introduce hemp and hemp production into their states. As a member of the Texas Industrial Hemp Advisory Council, Skip is looking forward to making sure Texas residents, PrimeMyBody, and the state of Texas all benefit from hemp as a viable wellness, textile, agriculture, and economic growth resource.
“Mainly, we are going to provide practical guidance to the regulators in order to facilitate and grow the hemp business in Texas. The end goal of this council is to provide real-life feedback to regulators in Texas. We want to make sure we have an interface with the TDA on growing and regulating hemp to ensure the regulations are practical and reasonable and can be easily followed with minimum effort and cost.”
As General Counsel for PrimeMyBody, Skip will lend his advice as a voice for hemp-based businesses that must adhere to the federal and state-based regulatory mandates for hemp material inspection, processing, manufacturing, and inter- and outer-state distribution.
“Our main goal is to keep it simple. Let’s not make these regulations so complicated that they’re hard to follow. As a representative of a hemp business, I want to put a practical perspective on (hemp) regulations and make sure that there’s input for the people and companies, like PrimeMyBody, who are going to process, manufacture and distribute industrial hemp,” says Skip.
For PrimeMyBody, the Texas Industrial Hemp Program means more sources for organic hemp material (or biomass) supply and dramatically slims the chance of having to come across what’s known as adulterated materials that may have the presence of impurities or unregulated substances like higher THC concentrations.
“A Texas hemp program is a huge advantage for PrimeMyBody. If we grow industrial hemp in Texas and create processing streams in Texas, then we have greater control over the raw materials, like hemp extracts, that are used for our hemp products,” adds Skip.
As meetings with his fellow council members begin to ramp up, Skip says there are a lot of working parts that will need to be addressed, including planning for hemp farming licensing, shipping and hauling permitting, destruction protocols for unregulated hemp material, and Texas-based inspecting and testing to insure compliance with the federal maximum THC concentration requirement of .03% per 100 cubic weight. Skip has made it clear that the council will be advocating for the inclusion of the USDA minimum standards when it comes to industrial hemp THC levels.
“Our standards are equal to, and in some cases, less than what is an immediate requirement by the USDA as far as THC levels because we want hemp in Texas to be more user-friendly. Our goal is to follow the federal requirements and put policies and procedures in place that can be met consistently by our growers.”
We are thrilled that Skip will be leading the implementation of the new Texas Industrial Hemp Program as this program will be helpful for the entire Texas hemp industry and will lend itself to many advantages for PrimeMyBody and our thousands of Affiliates and Customers. Join us in congratulating Skip on his appointment to the Texas Industrial Hemp Advisory Council.