The Texas Department of State Health Services (“DSHS”) adopted and published its final rules governing the Texas consumable hemp program (the “DSHS Final Rules”) to the Texas Register. The DSHS Final Rules become effective on August 2, 2020. Any potential changes to the statute governing our hemp program will not occur until the Texas Legislature reconvenes in January of 2021.
To the detriment of many in the Texas hemp industry, the DSHS Final Rules only slightly diverge from the DSHS Proposed Rules. Our prior blog series on the DSHS Proposed Rules provided an in-depth analysis of the proposed DSHS rules. This blog focuses on the changes made by DSHS in the adopted Final Rules.
Our hemp attorneys recently sat down to identify seven issues with the Texas Department of State Health Services (“DSHS”) Proposed Rules for Texas’ consumable hemp program. If you are a consumable hemp manufacturer, processor, distributor, or retailer, it is not too late to submit your comments directly to DSHS. Comments can be submitted to DSHS until June 7, 2020.
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 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.
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.
Now that you have read Part I of the Revised TDA Hemp Production Plan series on the application and license requirements for hemp producers, it is crucial to understand the rules and methods for the sampling and testing of hemp for tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) concentration levels.
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.