Alex Kotok

Texas Senate Approves Industrial Hemp Bill

The bill, which passed the Senate unanimously, now returns to the House for reconciliation by lawmakers there; senators added language implementing random CBD product testing and heavy fines against people whose hemp crops exceed 0.3 percent THC.

Full story after the jump.

The Texas Senate has unanimously approved an industrial hemp bill that includes legalization of the production and sale of non-smokeable CBD-rich products in the state, the Texas Tribune reports. The House passed the bill last month but the two chambers must agree to a compromise version of the legislation before it can be sent to the governor.

The Senate version includes language that would implement random testing of CBD products sold in the state and require retailers to obtain licenses to sell the cannabinoid-infused goods. The Senate version would also levy fines on people growing hemp crops over the 0.3 percent THC threshold. Manufacturers would not be allowed to produce products that could be smoked.

The upper chamber version of the bill also gives law enforcement broad powers to seize any crops or products they believe to be THC-rich or another controlled substance.

The state’s medical cannabis program only allows a small number of patients access to CBD products and it’s unclear how the law changes would impact that program. Earlier this month, House lawmakers approved a measure to expand that program but it does not raise the THC threshold.

Texas is one of just six states without a legalized hemp cultivation program but joins the list of states making changes to their laws following last year’s passage of the Farm Bill which removed hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act. Under those changes, states who wish to allow hemp cultivation and production must submit their proposals to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for approval.

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