To conform with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (“USDA”) hemp production plan, the Texas Department of Agriculture (“TDA”) proposed its own hemp production rules and regulations (the “TDA plan”) to the Texas Register in December of 2019. The proposed rules were then revised and released on Friday, January 10th, and they are open to public comment until Monday, February 10th. Comments are to be submitted to Philip Wright, Administrator for Agriculture and Consumer Protection, Texas Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 12847, Austin, Texas 78711, or by email to [email protected]. If dissatisfied with any provision of the TDA plan, it is highly recommended to raise and send concerns to the TDA during this window for public comment.
With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill and the USDA’s release of the interim final rules, the hemp market continues to grow. As many processing services remain hesitant to service the growing hemp industry due to legal uncertainties, companies continue to face difficulties securing a reliable merchant processor for processing payments for the sale of hemp-derivative products, such as CBD oils and edibles. Though organizations such as Square Inc. and WooCommerce recently have begun to provide processing capabilities and support to legal hemp and CBD sellers, many remain skeptical due to confusion on the legal status of hemp and hemp-derived products.
Under the Final Interim USDA Hemp Production plan, several rules, requirements, and regulations pave the way for those looking to start a legal hemp farm after approval of their relevant State’s hemp-growth plan. Below, we’ve compiled four fundamentals to growing hemp, including hemp licensing, growing conditions, testing, and record-keeping, to help ensure compliance and facilitate a legal operation.
After learning the licensing requirements in Part I of this Series and the complex rules and regulations on the sampling and testing of hemp in Part II, it is now time to turn our attention to the USDA plan’s matters of compliance, violations, license suspension and revocation, and mandatory recordkeeping.
As a hemp producer, if you violate the USDA plan, it is important not to panic. Instead, focus on remedying this situation by complying with the corrective action plan or other enforcement actions imposed by USDA.
Now that you have read Part I of the USDAHemp Production Plan series on the license requirements for hemp producers, it is critical to understand USDA’s methods and regulations for the sampling and testing of hemp for tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) concentration levels. Keep in mind: “tetrahydrocannabinol” and “delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol” are interchangeable phrases for THC.
Last December, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, commonly known as the 2018 Farm Bill, was passed, which removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act’s (“CSA”) definition of “marihuana.” The Farm Bill allows for the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) to oversee and facilitate the commercial cultivation, processing, and marketing of hemp. As mandated by the Farm Bill, USDA has developed an interim final rule to establish the domestic hemp production program.
The hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) industry is an increasingly prosperous market. However, ambiguity surrounding product knowledge and legalities creates hindrances and obstacles for business owners and entrepreneurs alike. Before launching and investing in a start-up or existing CBD business, it is essential to fully understand the product that your CBD business will be dealing with: a specific class of compounds, known as “cannabinoids.” CBD is just one of many cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, and while many states have statutes and regulations that apply solely to CBD products, several of the other predominant cannabinoids in hemp will most likely be coming to mass market. Below, we break down the basic distinctions between the most prevalent types of cannabinoids to further assist your knowledge and understanding of hemp/CBD.
Texas hemp lawyer Chelsie Spencer spends some time on Better Living with Nick Carissimi to discuss the CBD and hemp industries, legalities, and more.
“The industry has made leaps and bounds in the past six to seven years, and as far as legality, we’re seeing a changing landscape both at the federal and state levels,” says Chelsie, as she dives into several specific examples of the challenges she has faced and those that lie ahead for hemp and CBD law. With significant experience representing hemp growers, extractors, processors and CBD white labelers across the nation, Chelsie covers a range of critical topics and details for both the average consumer and manufacturer. Listen to the full radio show here.
Texas hemp lawyer Chelsie Spencer was recently interviewed by the Texas Cannabis Collective for its article “What You Need to Know about Hemp Legalization in Texas.” Texas Cannabis Collective is a Texas-based informational and educational media organization focusing on cannabis news in Texas and across the United States. In April of this year, Chelsie was interviewed on Texas’ hemp growth bill, HB 1325, prior to its passage by Texas Cannabis Collective. In the recent interview, Chelsie discusses the impact that HB 1325 will have here in Texas and practical problems she anticipates that may arise as the hemp-growth program begins implementation.
Last night, Governor Abbot signed Texas HB 1325 (or, “Bill”) into law. HB 1325 establishes a hemp growth program here in Texas and governs manufacture and retail sale of hemp and hemp-derivative products. Because the Bill received the required vote threshold, it became effective immediately, making June 10, 2019, a historic date for Texas hemp and a celebratory evening for our hemp lawyers. Below, we provide a brief overview of the Bill’s requirements for a Texas hemp grower’s license.