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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

State of Texas Now Taking Applications to Manufacture and Sell Hemp Products

Posted By on Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 9:40 AM

click to enlarge In a photo taken last year, Carolyn Leeper of the Farmacy Botanical Shop discusses her product line at an outdoor market on the South Side. - SANFORD NOWLIN
  • Sanford Nowlin
  • In a photo taken last year, Carolyn Leeper of the Farmacy Botanical Shop discusses her product line at an outdoor market on the South Side.
The state of Texas has launched a program overseeing the manufacture, retail sales and distribution of consumable hemp products, paving the way for more legal production of CBD products in the state.

On Monday, the Texas Department of State Health Services began accepting online applications for consumable hemp production and retail licenses under its newly launched Consumable Hemp Program.

"The program establishes a consistent regulatory framework for consumable hemp products that are manufactured or sold in Texas," said Stephen Pahl, DSHS associate commissioner for consumer protection. "We worked with stakeholders to develop rules that provide clarity for license and registration holders."

The Texas Legislature last summer passed a law legalizing the production, manufacture and sale of hemp in the state. However, critics have argued that the lack of legal framework up until now has been confusing for consumers and people who sell hemp edibles tinctures, lotions and other products.

In conjunction with the new rules, Texas this week began enforcing a retail ban on smokeable hemp products. Even so, it's likely users of those products will simply purchase loose flower to smoke, which isn't banned under the rules. 

Under the DSHS program, those who make, process and distribute hemp consumables must obtain a state licenses, which runs $258 per facility per year. Retailers carrying consumable hemp have until October 2 to obtain a separate license that runs $155 per location.

State regulators will conduct random tests of consumable hemp products carried by those regulated businesses, checking for pesticides and chemicals as well as concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of marijuana. Under the state law, consumable hemp products may not contain more than a 0.3% concentration of THC.

Jax Finkel, executive director of marijuana reform group Texas NORML told KSAT 12 the new rules are likely to help consumers make better decisions.

"They lay out the guidelines for what's allowable in your product," Finkel said. "What are the required testing protocols? [It's] a lot of things that are, just kind of like truth in labeling, good consumer protections," Finkel said.

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