Exciting News for Hemp Cultivation in Texas
Anyone who has been following Texas hemp cultivation developments knows that it’s been quite a journey. But things are looking promising after the Lone Star State cleared yet another hurdle in the direction of hemp farming. Follow along as we look back on the short history of the path to hemp in Texas, the latest developments, and what it means for aspiring hemp cultivators.
Texas Hemp Farming History
To appreciate the most recent news in hemp growing in Texas, let’s take a look back at where we started. Back in December 2018, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, a strong supporter of industrial hemp production, called for the legalization of hemp. Shortly after, Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized industrial hemp.
Fast forward to May 2019, Texas Legislature passed HB 1325, a right-to-farm legislation that would allow Texas farmers the opportunity to cultivate hemp. Governor Abbott signed HB 1325 in June 2019, and a few months later in October, the USDA released rules for state hemp programs. At the end of last year, the Texas Department of Agriculture submitted a hemp plan to the USDA for approval and published the rules.
USDA Approves Texas Hemp Plan
We’re now closer than we’ve ever been to growing hemp in Texas! The USDA has approved the hemp plan and administrative rules have been published, but are yet to be adopted. Once the Texas Department of Agriculture makes the rules effective, licensing can begin and industrial hemp will be legal to grow in Texas. So don’t plant those seeds just yet – it is still illegal to grow hemp. However, licensing is estimated to open in March 2020, which means we’re just around the corner. Yeehaw!
Summary of Texas Hemp Farming Regulations
The TDA has the full document detailing the regulations of growing hemp in Texas. We’ve summarized it here to help you get the gist without all the scrolling you’ll need to do on the original document!
- Producers looking to grow hemp will need to obtain both a license and various permits.
- All producers will be required to obtain a lot permit for each lot where the license holder intends to produce or handle hemp.
- All producers who plan to transport hemp outside of a facility where hemp is produced will be required to obtain a transportation certificate.
- Texas hemp producers will be subject to various fees, including application fees, annual license renewal fees, testing fees, and more.
- After May 2020 a person may not sell, possess, hold, or purchase hemp unless they have a TDA license for production and handling.
- A license holder may not produce or handle hemp in any other locations not listed on his or her license application, must own or completely control any property included on his or her license application, or interplant hemp with any other crop without express written permission from TDA.
- Hemp producers will be required to submit to certain inspection, sampling, and testing.
- A license holder has the legal duty to destroy any material found in excess of an acceptable hemp THC level or violate any of the terms above.
- There are a number of enforcement provisions and penalties for violations of these regulations.
- Growers are required to maintain records and reports.
We’re so close to growing Hemp in Texas!
Once the TDA begins accepting applications for licensing, the hemp farming industry is going to EXPLODE! One of the best things you can do for yourself and your business is attend Lucky Leaf Expo. You’ll gain knowledge on all there is to know about hemp cultivation, network with others in the industrial hemp and CBD industry, and get an advantage on your competition. Purchase your tickets now!