K-State Research and Extension

Texas Gov. Signs Hemp Legalization Bill

Texas is the latest state to adopt hemp legalization language after the plant’s federal restrictions were lifted last year. The plan still needs USDA approval, which is unlikely to happen for this year’s growing season.

Full story after the jump.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signed the hemp legalization legislation that also allows CBD production and sales. The measure was unanimously approved by both legislative chambers, passing the House in April and the Senate in May.

Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller told the Dallas Morning News that he was “excited” about the reforms, which he called “another tool for farmers that are looking to diversify their farming.”

“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, via the Morning News

The bill’s passage comes nearly two months after the Texas Department of State Health Services removed hemp from its dangerous drugs list.

The reforms require farmers to pay a fee for cultivation licenses and for THC content lab tests. The state can inspect registered farms to ensure they are complying with the law. While the law takes effect immediately, it’s unlikely that the state plan will receive USDA approval for this growing season.

The Department of Agriculture is responsible for overseeing the farms and issuing licenses to grow the crops while all products make for human consumption in the state will be regulated by Texas Health and Human Services.

Texas joins several other states, including Iowa, Connecticut, Hawaii, and Florida, in legalizing hemp production following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which removed hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act. That law requires state plans to get USDA approval; however, the agency has not yet approved any state-submitted plans.

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