The Texas House has approved legislation to legalize industrial hemp production and it next moves to the Senate, the Texas Tribune reports. The vote was conducted via a voice vote and none of the members were opposed.
The broad legalization bill includes CBD, as long as the products don’t surpass the 0.3 percent THC threshold. Democratic Rep. Tracy King, the bill sponsor, called the measure “right-to-farm legislation” allowing the state’s farmers “to cultivate a drought-resistant cash crop.”
Jeff Lake, owner of Kentucky-based company Elemental Processing, told Texas lawmakers he pays $3,000 to $5,000 plus a bonus per acre of hemp, compared to $300 to $400 for an acre of corn in a good year.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller threw his support behind the legislation.
“Allowing the Texas Department of Agriculture to create an industrial hemp program here in Texas will give Texas farmers an exciting new opportunity to thrive — and that’s something everyone should get behind. It is all about Texas farmers and ranchers and seeing them prosper.” – Miller, to the Tribune
The measure completely removes hemp from the state’s controlled substances list. Texas is just one of seven states without some form of hemp production legalization. Several other states, including Florida, Nebraska, Iowa, Idaho, and Oklahoma have moved to reform their hemp laws following last year’s broad legalization in the federal Farm Bill.