The Texas legislature banned smokable hemp flowers last year. Farmers and hemp CBD businesses are continuing to fight the ban. They argue that the ban violates federal law and hurt an emerging business that was already experiencing difficult times due to COVID-19.
In December 2018, President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp sales in the United States and defined hemp as any part of the Cannabis sativa L. plant with a THC concentration of 0.3% or lower. However, individual states were allowed to create their own set of rules.
Both hemp and marijuana have a similar aroma, and to the inexperienced person they both look very similar. This is especially true for law enforcement officers.
What is Hemp Flower?
Smokable hemp flower aka CBD flower is the flower or bud of the hemp plant that has been cultivated explicitly for smoking.
Cannabinoids such as CBD, CBG, CBN, and CBC are found in the greatest abundance in the flower of the plant, while small amounts of delta 9 THC are found. While CBD oil is extracted from the whole plant a variety of individuals prefer smoking or vaping the plant.
Many prefer smokable hemp flowers not only because it is federally legal but because smoking is one of the fastest ways to absorb its cannabinoids. We use hemp flower for a variety of reasons, including dealing with anxiety, headaches, stress, pain mitigation, and skincare.
Why is smokable hemp banned for Texas businesses?
In June 2019, Gov. Abbott signed House Bill 1325, which ordered the Texas Department of Agriculture to approve rules for hemp production, including seed certification, licensing, testing and fees, and submit a state hemp plan to the USDA.
The bill authorizes the breeding, production, processing, inspection, and the sale of hemp crops and products, including consumable products. House Bill 1325 also prohibits the processing or manufacturing of consumable hemp products for smoking in Texas.
The law does not prohibit in-state retail sales of hemp products produced outside Texas, as long as those products are grown and manufactured in compliance with federal law.
While Texas law prohibits the production of smokable hemp flower in the state, it doesn’t prohibit its consumption or possession. This means hemp flower and smokable hemp products can be purchased online from other states.
Authorizes the cultivation, processing and sale of hemp crops and products, including consumable products. Prohibits hemp products for smoking.HB 1325
In an attempt to terminate this loophole, a hearing was held in December where new rules were proposed to ban the consumption of smokable hemp.
Law accidentally ban the sale of CBD vape products in Texas
The new rules define “smoking” as “burning or igniting a substance and inhaling the smoke or heating a substance and inhaling the resulting vapor or aerosol.” By doing so Texas “accidentally” banned vaping.
What is vaping?
Vaping is the act of inhaling aerosolized liquid generated from a device; despite the name, no vaporizing occurs. The term is used because vaping devices do not produce smoke, but rather an aerosol, often mistaken for water vapor, that actually consists of fine particles.
The liquid (hemp CBD oil extract) heats up, becomes aerosolized into millions of tiny droplets, and is then inhaled.
If approved, these regulations would ban Texas businesses from selling hemp flower and hemp-related CBD vape cartridges and devices.
What can be done?
Texas has not yet approved the new rules into law. Let the state hear your voice. Reach out to your local representative and join the action plan. We also request linking to this article and using the hashtag, #savehemp, and #savehempjobs, on social media.
- Regulating the Manufacture, Distribution, and Retail Sale of consumable hemp and consumable hemp products in the state of Texas
DSHS is accepting input on these proposed rules until June 8th and there is time for revision before they are made final. If you are concerned about this issue, please respectfully share your feedback.