Texas Approves House Bill 1325 To Legalize Hemp & CBD Oil
June 2019 was a monumental month for Texans who are seeking natural treatment in the form of medicinal hemp and CBD oil. Governor Greg Abbott finally signed House Bill 1325 into law, which legalized industrial hemp and its many applications, including hemp-derived CBD products. The vote was almost unanimous in the Texas House and the Senate, proving that even the most conservative states are beginning to recognize the healing potential of alternative medicine.
How Much THC Is Legal In Industrial Hemp?
In Texas, legal hemp only refers to products of the hemp plant (not the cannabis plant) that contain less than 0.3% of THC. This trace amount is allowed for several reasons, with the first being that 0.3% THC cannot get you high. For comparison, the percentage of THC in recreational and medical cannabis ranges from 15% to well over 30%, so a mere 0.3% doesn’t produce a noticeable effect. Rather, CBD is “activated” by this trace amount of THC, helping to provide pain and symptom relief by working with the body’s naturally occurring cannabinoids. CBD and other cannabinoids (including THC) affect the endocannabinoid system both directly and indirectly. However, separately from THC, CBD will not have a euphoric affect on the endocannabinoid system.
Why Was Industrial Hemp Legalized?
House Bill 1325 has been in the works for several years, as politicians have seen the hemp industry boom across the country. However, the Texas Senate and House have been particularly cautious about legalizing the production and use of industrial hemp, as it has long been misconstrued as having similar effects to cannabis, more commonly known as the marijuana plant. Now that further research has surfaced in the medical community, and that more and more states are joining the playing field, it seems that the local government has finally realized the key differences between hemp and cannabis plants.
So, why was industrial hemp legalized in Texas after years of deliberation? It appears as though the state doesn’t want to miss out on a massive opportunity to grow the local economy and join the national stage when it comes to hemp production. According to CNBC, “Besides hiring workers in agriculture, processing and manufacturing, the still-budding industry — with $1.1 billion in revenues 2018, estimated to more than double by 2022 to $2.6 billion, according to New Frontier Data — will need accountants, lawyers, compliance officers, government regulators, IT specialists, financial and insurance experts, transporters, researchers and lab technicians, marketers, CFOs, CEOs and various retail employees.”
In other words, the state of Texas now has the opportunity to find its place in the local hemp industry rather than being dominated by large hemp farms in Colorado, California, and even southern states like Kentucky. Now, farmers who have built their livelihood on growing fruits, vegetables, tobacco, cotton, hay, and wheat can change pace and possibly make a killing selling high-quality organic hemp. The author of House Bill 1325, Texas House Republican Charles Perry, has been fighting for the state to have a stake in the hemp industry, and he hopes that rural communities will benefit and grow from the opportunity.
Now that Texas farmers can legally farm hemp, they must follow strict guidelines for how the crop is grown. Industrial hemp cannot under any circumstances contain more than 0.3% THC, so it is imperative that farmers prevent their crops from pollinating incorrectly or being cross-pollinated by their psychoactive cousin, the cannabis plant. Not only that, but the quality of hemp will also be tested in order to determine that the plant does have the potential to be of benefit to humans. This is especially true for CBD products, such as CBD hemp oil, CBD edibles, CBD lotions, CBD creams, and CBD salves, which are not yet federally regulated.
Since hemp farming is legal in the Lone Star State, farmers must obtain a license by the Texas Department Of Agriculture if they want to begin growing industrial hemp. Not only that, but any hemp products intended for consumption must first be tested and approved by the state agency, Texas Health and Human Services. Other than that, it’s up to the farmer to research the most effective hemp growing methods and perfect their craft so they are able to earn their place in the booming hemp industry.