Texas has issued its first industrial hemp license this week to a farmer in Killeen. The license will allow the famer to cultivate hemp in a “specified facility” for one year. Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller called the license “just the beginning for industrial hemp” in the state.
“I am happy that I can be the one to deliver it. I know Texas farmers have been eagerly waiting for a chance at these hemp licenses and now the wait is over. … Hemp offers Texas farmers a great new opportunity, but I want them to understand that with every promise of high profit comes the reality of high risk. My job was to get this program started, it’s now up to farmers and processors to build that Texas ‘hempire.’” – Miller in a press release
As part of the process, licensees must watch a 24-minute video that outlines the state’s rules and regulations.
The Texas Department of Agriculture has received a total of 546 industrial hemp applications including 458 producer applications, 58 handler applications, and 30 handler sampler applications.
Texas‘ hemp law was passed last year and includes legalization and regulation of CBD. All hemp-containing edible products produced in the state, including CBD, are regulated by the Department of State Health. The program was approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in January.
In all, 14 state hemp programs have been approved, while 17 states are still operating under their 2014 pilot hemp programs, and six state programs are still pending USDA review. Connecticut and Tennessee are listed as having submitted a plan to the agency that required resubmission. Other states not pending review are currently drafting plans, according to agency data. Regulators have also approved 14 tribal hemp production plans and list another 16 as under review.