Hemp refers to the cannabis plant and any of its parts, including seeds, derivatives, isomers, and extracts, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 THC concentration of not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis. The terms "hemp" and "industrial hemp" are used interchangeably, as the term " industrial hemp" is only a description of hemp with respect to its many uses. Note that hemp may be used to make products such as textiles, paper, food products, building materials, biofuels, supplements, bioplastics, and personal care items.
Some parts of the hemp plant, and their derivatives, that may be used in making products include:
Botanically, marijuana and hemp are cultivated from the same plant species - Cannabis sativa, which often leads many people to believe they are the same. However, marijuana and hemp are genetically distinct forms of cannabis that can be distinguished by their uses and chemical compositions, as well as the different cultivation practices employed in their production. Industrial hemp contains high amounts of cannabidiol (CBD) and low amounts of active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana that makes people high. On a dry weight basis, marijuana contains 3 - 15% THC.
Yes. The most recent legalization history of hemp began in 2014 with the 2014 Farm Bill (also referred to as the Agricultural Act of 2014). The Act allowed hemp cultivation in the United States for research purposes and only in states that permitted it under state law. Hence, hemp was only allowed to be cultivated by institutions of higher education and state departments of agriculture, if legal under state law where the institutions or state departments are located.
Although the 2018 Farm Bill continues the effort of the 2014 Farm Bill to generate and protect hemp research, it is a more expansive law. The 2018 Farm Bill permits hemp growing on a large scale instead of only experimental operations. It explicitly allows the interstate transport of hemp-derived products for trade purposes and other uses. There are also no prohibitions on the sale, transportation, or possession of hemp-derived goods, provided that they are manufactured in accordance with the law.
The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the list of Schedule I controlled substances maintained by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). It also authorized the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to publish rules and guidelines for the implementation of a program to provide a uniform regulatory framework for hemp production across the United States. Note that both the 2014 Farm Bill and the 2018 Farm Bill referred to hemp as cannabis containing less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis.
Prior to the 2018 Farm Bill, Texas had only one significant CBD law - Senate Bill 339. SB 339, passed in 2015, permitted doctors to recommend low-THC cannabis products to epileptic Texas patients. In June 2019, Governor Greg Abbott signed HB 1325 into law, legalizing industrial hemp cultivation, production, manufacture, and sale in Texas. Currently, Texas farmers must possess Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA)-approved licenses in order to cultivate hemp on their properties. Also, HB 1325 contains no statutes restricting the interstate transportation of hemp and hemp products.
Pursuant to Chapter 443 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, all consumable hemp products are legal in Texas as long as the products contain THC levels not exceeding 0.3%. Some CBD products with up to 0.5% THC are permitted for patients registered under the state's medical program. These products include:
Texas permits residents who are licensed and registered with the DSHS (Department of State Health Services) to cultivate hemp for food products or edibles.
Texas allows citizens to smoke hemp in the state, provided the smokable CBD products are manufactured outside of Texas. Although the state has no specific restrictions on where residents may smoke hemp, smoking hemp while driving or in public is generally frowned upon as the police may assume the consumed product is marijuana. Also, while it is unlikely that hemp products may cause impairment while driving, law enforcement may arrest persons caught with hemp who exhibit signs of drowsiness or lightheadedness.
Per Section 122.002 of the Texas Agricultural Code, local governments in Texas are not authorized to enact ordinances or policies preventing the cultivation, handling, transportation, or sale of hemp and hemp products within their jurisdictions. The regulatory framework for hemp cultivation and production as laid in the 2018 Farm Bill and HB 1325 authorizes the Texas Department of Agriculture and the Texas Department of State Health Services to regulate the cultivation and production of Hemp in the State of Texas.
In order to grow or produce hemp in Texas, you must obtain a hemp producer license from the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA). The TDA also issues:
To be eligible for a hemp producer license in Texas, an applicant must be aged 18 or older and not have a previous felony conviction involving a drug offense in the past 10 years. Key participants of the applicant's hemp operations must also be free of drug-related convictions in the same period. Texas defines a key participant as a sole proprietor, a general partner in a limited partnership, a partner in general partnership, or a person with executive managerial control in an entity applicant.
To apply for a hemp producer license, follow these steps:
Note that this hemp license is not the only document required to commence hemp cultivation in Texas. A license permits the licensee to participate in the Texas hemp industry. The licensee must also register each facility where hemp will be cultivated or produced upon obtaining a license. A permit is required for each lot of hemp planted. Upon obtaining a facility registration, an LCP authorizes the permit holder who already has a license to plant a crop of one approved variety of hemp in one discrete area, referred to as a lot.
Before completing the application, you will be required to pay the applicable fees using a credit card or electronic check. The TDA may take up to 60 days to review an application and issue a license after the submission of the application. For more information on obtaining hemp producer licenses in Texas, contact a TDA regional office or visit the Texas industrial hemp program website.
A Texas hemp grower or producer license costs $100, while an additional fee of $100 per lot is required for a permit, regardless of the lot size. While applying, an applicant must also register at least one facility where operations will be conducted. The cost of registering a facility is $100 for each facility registered. If the GPS locations of registered facilities are to be modified, the cost for each registered facility is $500. Note that other fees may apply before registration is complete, and all fees paid to the Texas Department of Agriculture are nonrefundable.
The hemp producer license is renewable annually for a fee of $100. Annual renewals are not automatic and require license holders to apply.
To grow hemp in Texas, follow these steps:
After the seedlings have matured into small plants, they need less individual care than before. Nevertheless, you should continue to watch them to ensure that they get sufficient sunshine, water, and heat throughout this time
Per TDA rules, pesticides containing the following active ingredients may not be used in cultivating hemp in Texas:
Note that before hemp may be harvested, an official sample must be taken by a TDA-licensed handler sampler and submitted to a TDA-registered laboratory. To initiate this process, select "Transport Manifest Request (official or unofficial)" on the TDA eApply portal. Then in the request type dropdown menu, select "official sample request and sample manifest request." No more than two official sample requests may be made per lot.
After laboratory results have been obtained and the hemp THC levels are within the acceptable range, you must obtain a transport manifest to transport the hemp. A transport manifest can be obtained through the TDA eApply portal. Subsequently, a lot report for every lot crop permit issued must be submitted no later than the 30th day after the final sample is collected or no later than 180 days from the lot permit issue date, whichever is first.
Smokable hemp flowers are legal in Texas. Although the state prohibits the production of smokable hemp flowers within its borders, it does not ban the possession or consumption of smokable hemp flowers. Businesses outside of Texas producing hemp flowers may ship their products to Texas for sale to Texans. The state places no limit on the amount of smokable hemp flower that may be possessed or consumed by residents. Hence, consumers can purchase smokable hemp flowers online or at physical stores where hemp products are sold across Texas.
Hemp and THC are not the same. Hemp refers to Cannabis sativa cultivars cultivated for industrial or medical use. THC, also called tetrahydrocannabinol, is a chemical compound found in both hemp and marijuana. Hemp plants contain low levels of THC, typically 0.3%.
Like THC, cannabidiol or CBD is also an important chemical component in the hemp plant. Hemp plants contain high levels of CBD, which has been identified as a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants. Hence, while CBD is a compound found in the cannabis plant, hemp is a strain of cannabis that contains a high amount of CBD and a low amount of THC. CBD is concentrated in the flowers of the hemp plant. However, traces of the compound can be found in the entire plant, such as the stem, leaves, and stalk.
There are marijuana-derived CBD and hemp-derived CBD. However, marijuana has a higher level of THC than hemp. Texas permits businesses that have obtained the appropriate licenses and permits to sell hemp-derived CBD oil in the state as it only contains trace amounts of the psychoactive compound, THC.
Industrial hemp is a versatile plant that may be cultivated for its fiber, seed, or oil. It is commonly grown for its medicinal uses but may also be used in the production of: