If you joined us for Parts I through III of this Series, you will know that the Texas Department of State Health Services (“DSHS”) published its proposed rules to govern the Texas consumable hemp program (the “DSHS Proposed Rules”) in the Texas Register on May 8, 2020. The DSHS Proposed Rules are open for public comment for 31 days, meaning the public comment period closes on June 7, 2020. To provide comment on any of the draft rules, you can submit your comments directly to DSHS via email to [email protected]. When emailing comments, you will need to indicate “Comments on Proposed Rule 19R074 Hemp Program” in the subject line. Written comments may also be submitted to Rod Moline, Ph.D., R.S., Section Director, Mail Code 1987, Texas Department of State Health Services, P.O. Box 149347, Austin, Texas 78714-9347.
On June 10, 2019, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed HB 1325, legislation pertaining to hemp growth and consumable hemp products, into law in the state of Texas. To conform with Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 443, as amended by HB 1325, Texas Department of State Health Services (“DSHS”) has published its proposed rules to govern the Texas consumable hemp program (the “DSHS Proposed Rules”) in the Texas Register. Under the DSHS Proposed Rules, a “consumable hemp product” is defined as
Rocky, troubling, tumultuous, uncertain, uncharted, unprecedented, and unpredictable times: due to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, we continue to see these ominous descriptions in coronavirus coverage. Society has had to adapt as this pandemic ravages our way of life. Businesses throughout the world are dealing with the economic fallout COVID-19 has caused, and the cannabis industry is no exception. Numerous cannabis companies, already plagued by financial woes prior to this pandemic, are struggling or are unable to perform contract obligations. A prime example of this is illustrated in the ongoing lawsuit between Kentucky hemp company Third Wave Farms, LLC (“Third Wave”) and Oregon CBD processor Pure Valley Solutions, LLC (“Pure Valley”). Third Wave sued Pure Valley to get out of their contract based on obligations Pure Valley allegedly was unable to meet and based on the force majeure clause of the contract coming into effect.
The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has impacted nearly every industry, and the cannabis industry is no exception. As the United States economy continues to experience instability and uncertainty, cannabis companies face increasingly difficult challenges, particularly since the legal cannabis industry remains in flux in most states. Some hemp and cannabis business owners have continued operations as usual, while others have closed their doors completely. It is difficult to navigate the cannabis industry during these stressful and unprecedented times, but cannabis lawyers are able to provide experienced counsel and support as needed. Below, we discuss four critical actions cannabis businesses should consider amidst the COVID-19 threat.
As cannabidiol (CBD) continues to grow in popularity, the industry is becoming increasingly competitive. CBD business owners have been forced to resort to creative measures in their marketing efforts. Many CBD companies often ignore the various rules and regulations associated with CBD advertising online. However, it is important for CBD businesses and entrepreneurs to pursue compliant marketing strategies for their products to avoid account suspensions, government enforcement actions, or other business interruptions.
As the legalization of cannabis and cannabis-related products continues to make progress, keeping legalities straight can be challenging. The rise of the cannabidiol (CBD) industry has also led to an abundance of misinformation online and in the media, making it harder for the average consumer to find the right answers to their questions. But cannabis, hemp, hemp derivatives, CBD, and marijuana continue to gain popularity, and it is important to fully understand what is legal and what is not. Below, we have put together a comparison between the legalities of marijuana and the legalities of hemp as a thorough examination and differentiation.
We are pleased to announce that attorney Chelsie Spencer has been selected by Thomson Reuters as a Super Lawyers Rising Star of 2020.
Super Lawyers is a rating service for exceptional lawyers that covers over 70 areas of practice. Only 2.5% of lawyers in each state are selected as Rising Stars by Super Lawyers. These lawyers are selected based on independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations.
Our hemp attorneys recently sat down to identify six issues with the Texas Department of Agriculture’s (“TDA”) Revised Proposed Rules for Texas’ hemp program. If you are a hemp industry business, it is not too late to submit your comments directly to TDA. Comments on the Revised TDA Hemp Production Plan may be submitted HERE.
“GOOD STANDING” WITH THE TDA
As criteria for evaluation of an applicant for a hemp license, the Revised Proposed Rules require that an applicant “be in good standing with TDA.” What exactly does this mean?
Over the next few days, hemp attorney Chelsie Spencer will be addressing issues that she has noted with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (“USDA”) proposed program rules, the Texas Department of Agriculture’s (“TDA”) Revised Interim Program Rules, and the Texas Department of State Health Services (“DSHS”). Keep in mind that these rules are all in their proposed period and that now is the time for the public to provide input. Today, we will be highlighting issues with the USDA’s program rules.
Comments on the USDA Interim Rules may be submitted HERE.
After learning the application and hemp license holder requirements in Part I of this Series and the rules and procedures regarding the sampling and testing of hemp in Part II, it is now time to turn to the TDA plan’s provisions covering violations, license suspension and revocation, hemp transportation, and hemp seed requirements.
As a hemp license holder, if you violate the TDA plan, it is imperative to comply with any enforcement action or corrective action plan imposed by the TDA in order to avoid any further negative consequences for you and/or your hemp operations.