Did Texas Ban Smokable Hemp?

Since Texas had legalized hemp farming last year, law enforcement and politicians are struggling with a sole problem – how to tell if a person is smoking CBD or THC-containing strain?

Hemp Industry Daily also highlights why Texas officials are enforcing a ban on smokable hemp products.

Difference Between Marijuana and Hemp

For your convenience, here is a quick summary showing the difference between the two types of Cannabis.

Both Marijuana and Hemp have been quite popular in the U.S, but their effects are poles apart. Where one is more about making you calm and relaxed, the other tends to bring about the “high” effects.

The difference is in the presence of cannabinoids in the two types of cannabis: Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD is known for its soothing effects, and therefore, has been featured in many medical and recreational products, while the latter is known to make you ‘high’.

The hemp plant has a higher concentration of CBD while Marijuana has a higher concentration of THC. This is why hemp is legal almost everywhere, while Marijuana is not.

Although many states have legalized both types, some states, including Texas, haven’t shown that much progression. According to the FDA and DEA, only those cannabis products are legal that have the following characteristics:

  • They’re made out of hemp grown in licensed farms in the US.
  • The hemp batches should undergo rigorous testing in certified third-party labs.
  • CBD products should contain no more than 0.3% of THC to qualify as safe.

Considering the above, it’s quite surprising that Texas officials are planning on banning Smokable Hemp products. Below is the possible reason as to why they’re doing it.

Why Are Officials Enforcing a Ban on Smokable Hemp Products?   

The state bill (2019) has allowed hemp farming in Texas and legalized smokable hemp products. However, the bill did not permit sellers to sell pre-rolled hemp. 

Since amateurs are unaware of the difference between marijuana and hemp buds as they look and smell the same, DSHS proposes a smokable hemp ban.

The Ever-growing CBD Market

CBD’s numerous health benefits are well-known. Several adults and children opt for this non-psychoactive drug to alleviate their chronic pain, seizures, and other diseases. 

Tim Blackwell, the owner of Zen Alchemy Labs, states that smokable hemp offers various benefits to individuals, especially those struggling with anxiety and chronic pain every day. 

Moreover, the cannabidiol absorption rate will vary as it depends on the different CBD consumption methods. 

For instance, the inhalation method allows CBD to be directly absorbed into the bloodstream; however, edibles do not get effectively absorbed because stomach acid destroys the CBD content, and the liver filters it out.

Blackwell further states that a smokable hemp ban will negatively affect the hemp market because around 50% of the customers buy hemp flowers for smoking.

He further adds that an attack on any hemp industry’s part will be an assault on those involved in selling, processing, and growing hemp.   

What’s more, Texas Hemp Growers have created an online petition against DSHS. 

The President of Texas Hemp Growers, Zachary Maxwell, emphasized that a ban on any kind of hemp product will violate federal and state law, especially the farm bill (2018) that has legalized hemp production.

Furthermore, the hemp advocacy group is also planning to file a lawsuit against this proposed ban.

Is Smokable Hemp Banned in Texas?

Since Texas officials want to ban smokable hemp products, its enforcement has been put on hold since September.

A Texas judge, Lora Livingston, blocked the authorities from enforcing the smokable hemp ban in the Texas district because various hemp companies filed a lawsuit. 

These companies include:

  • 1937 Apothecary LLC
  • Custom Botanical Dispensary LLC
  • America Juice Co. LLC
  • Crown Distributing LLC

These companies created petition due to two reasons: 

If the state banned the smokable hemp product, the entire business would shut down. As a result, owners will have to face tax revenue issues, and several people will be jobless. 

The second reason is that DSHS also jumped in and supported the prohibition of smokable hemp sales.

However, as the businesses claimed that the Texas Department of State Health Services went too far, Judge Livingston averted the ban on the sale, distribution, manufacturing, and processing of smokable hemp products. 

The business owners gathered in court in March, and since then, the judge has not released any ruling.

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