Starting a Side Hustle as a Sole Proprietorship in Texas

A sole proprietorship is an entrepreneur’s simplest business structure in Texas. While there are benefits to consider in the strengthened protection of a limited liability company or a corporation, people starting “side-hustles” often begin with a sole proprietorship. This simple method allows the new business owner to dip their feet into the pool. Some–through inertia or strategy–may simply continue the structure as the business grows. 

The sole proprietorship initiation process lacks the layers of legal requirements standard in other business structures, but it does involve several steps that business owners should follow. A local law firm, like Ritter Spencer, can help new entrepreneurs successfully start a sole proprietorship in Texas. Read below to learn how to take the first step in your sole proprietorship. 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCStarting a Side Hustle as a Sole Proprietorship in Texas
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Are Hybrid Marijuana Strains Legal?

As hybrid marijuana strains become more prevalent throughout the cannabis community, it’s important to discuss the anatomy, use, and legality of the most common strains. Though many are familiar with the two marijuana strains, Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica, it’s crucial to recognize the role of hybrids as well. Read below for a full assessment of the structure and legal status of hybrid marijuana strains in the cannabis industry.

Ritter Spencer, PLLCAre Hybrid Marijuana Strains Legal?
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Conditional Adult Use Licenses and Dispensaries: Everything You Need to Know

As the cannabis business expands across the nation, many states have set unique regulations concerning dispensaries, licenses, production, and manufacturing. The concept of conditional adult-use dispensaries has garnered the attention of those in the marijuana community, specifically after the Cannabis Control Board of New York drafted the application process for conditional adult-use retail license applications. 

Traditional retail licenses can be confusing for those interested in pursuing marijuana entrepreneurship, let alone conditional adult-use dispensaries and permits. At Ritter Spencer, we recognize the importance of being familiar with emerging trends within the marijuana industry. Read below to learn more about conditional use dispensaries.

Ritter Spencer, PLLCConditional Adult Use Licenses and Dispensaries: Everything You Need to Know
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The Evolution of the Texas Compassionate Use Program

In 2015, the Texas Legislature enacted the Texas Compassionate Use Act, Senate Bill 339, establishing the Texas Compassionate Use Program (TCUP). Under TCUP, the Texas Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) would create a secure registry for licensed physicians to prescribe low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) medical marijuana to patients suffering from intractable epilepsy. 

The registry, known as the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (“CURT”), prevents more than one qualified physician from registering as the prescriber for a single patient, verifies patients of low-THC cannabis for dispensing organizations, and allows physicians to input safety and efficacy data derived from their patients who have been prescribed low-THC cannabis. 

Since its establishment, the Texas Compassionate Use Program (“TCUP”) has vastly expanded, with significant developments in 2019 and 2021.

Ritter Spencer, PLLCThe Evolution of the Texas Compassionate Use Program
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Further Expansion of Texas’ Compassionate Use Program with H.B. 1535 in 2021

After establishing the Texas Compassionate Use Program in 2015 and augmenting it in 2019, Rep. Stephanie Klick (R) has once again initiated expanding the program with an incremental approach. With several beneficial provisions, this bill will potentially be the most effective and favorable legislation regarding medical marijuana reform in Texas. Although there are more comprehensive medical marijuana bills in other states, H.B. 1535 presents a significant opportunity for the Texas cannabis community. 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCFurther Expansion of Texas’ Compassionate Use Program with H.B. 1535 in 2021
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Will Texas Legalize Marijuana in 2021?

In the 2020 elections, voters approved statewide ballot proposals to legalize medical and/or adult-recreational-use marijuana in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, Mississippi, and South Dakota. In total, medical marijuana is now legal in 36 states and recreational use cannabis is now legal in 15 states. Currently, marijuana legalization remains on the docket for Texas in 2021. While many lawmakers have high expectations for this year, loosening marijuana laws has been a long and grueling battle for the Lone Star State. 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCWill Texas Legalize Marijuana in 2021?
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The Final Rule: The USDA’s Establishment of a Domestic Hemp Production Program

On January 19, 2021, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) put forth a final rule to concretely establish a domestic hemp production program. This final rule becomes effective on March 22, 2021, and puts forth structured rules, regulations, and guidelines regarding the production of hemp nationwide. The USDA’s final rule is a provisional response to the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill), which permitted states and tribal nations to participate in hemp production programs and removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act’s (CSA) definition of marijuana. Until the issuance of this final ruling, the USDA had previously only released an interim final rule, which was open to public comments and suggested revisions. Below, we break down the distinguishing and notable provisions the USDA incorporated into this new framework.

Ritter Spencer, PLLCThe Final Rule: The USDA’s Establishment of a Domestic Hemp Production Program
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How to Open a Dispensary in Texas

Although Texas has a medical marijuana program, as established by the Texas Compassionate Use Act in 2015, only three “Dispensing Organizations” have been granted licenses by the Texas Department of Safety (“DPS”) to cultivate, process, and dispense low-THC cannabis (up to a 0.5 percent THC limit as of the date of this blog) in Texas to prescribed patients. See 37 Tex. Admin. Code § 12.1. Texas is a vertically integrated state, meaning that the Dispensing Organization must cultivate, process, package, and dispense the medical marijuana.


Ritter Spencer, PLLCHow to Open a Dispensary in Texas
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Understanding Texas’s Compassionate-Use Program

In 2015, the Texas Compassionate Use Act, Senate Bill 339, was enacted, requiring the Texas Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) to create a secure registry for qualified physicians to treat patients suffering from a limited list of medical conditions, such as ALS and intractable epilepsy, with low-THC cannabis. In 2019, the Texas Legislature expanded the Texas Compassionate Use Program (“TCUP”) via House Bill 3703 to include additional medical conditions, e.g., incurable neurodegenerative diseases, and physician specialties in which low-THC cannabis can be prescribed. Moreover, the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (“CURT”) has been updated in accordance with the expanded TCUP to allow for a simpler process for physicians to register and prescribe low-THC cannabis to their patients. 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCUnderstanding Texas’s Compassionate-Use Program
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