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CBD Oil in Texas: Texans Can Now Make Hemp Great Again

Janet Miller

Janet Miller

Last updated: December 6, 2019

cbd-oil-in-texas-image
Shutterstock / Daria_I

CBD oil in Texas is now legal after Governor Greg Abbot signed House Bill 1325. The bill allows for both the industrial production of hemp and the sale of CBD products. The new law is only the beginning, though. Texas lawmakers still need to draft the rules and procedures that will regulate the crop.

Like other states that have legalized hemp production, Texas will only allow licensed growers to operate. Retailers who wish to sell CBD products will also have to register with the State’s Health Department. There are other things people should know about CBD oil in Texas, so keep reading to find out what they are.

Yes, CBD oil recently became legal in Texas. The ‘Hemp’ Bill, aka HB 1325 was signed into law in June of 2019. It made the cultivation and sale of hemp and hemp-derived products legal. Only the state has not yet set up a regulatory infrastructure to control and regulate the industry.

The lack of these rules and protocols means that growers will have to wait to receive the proper permits to begin cultivation or processing. The Texas Department of Agriculture has 90 days to submit a plan to the federal Department of Agriculture, which must then give final approval.

CBD consumers in Texas, though, are free to buy and use hemp-derived products. CBD products were available even before the state made growing hemp legal. Only, they existed in a legal gray zone that meant no one was sure what legal or illegal.

The legality or illegality of cannabidiol pre-HB 1325 was, in large part, due to the collision between state and federal law. Despite the passage and signing of the federal Hemp Farming Act of 2018, Texas law still listed cannabis and cannabis-derived products as illegal substances.

Medical Marijuana in Texas

Texas allows for the use of medical marijuana, but it is one of the most restrictive programs in the country. The Texas Compassionate Use Act of 2015 made legal the use of low-THC cannabis (less than 0.5%) for only a single condition: ‘intractable epilepsy.’ Potential applicants had first to receive permission from two state-approved physicians.

If they were approved, they had access to only three licensed dispensaries in the entire state. Only in 2019 did the State Legislature amend the law. The amendment (HB 3703) expanded the list of acceptable medical conditions, as well as the Compassionate Use Registry of physicians allowed to prescribe medical marijuana.

Industrial Hemp in Texas

Hemp is illegal to grow in Texas, as per the Texas Department of Agriculture. Despite the legal changes, the framework for regulating the cultivation and processing of hemp has yet to be erected.

As of this writing, the Texas Department of Agriculture is currently at work on the rules that will govern the state’s hemp growing industry. The TDA hopes to have a plan submitted and approved by the USDA in 2020.

No, marijuana and its main intoxicating ingredient THC remain banned substances according to both Texas and federal law. The maximum amount of THC allowed in all CBD products is the same as the federal law, which is 0.3%. Medical marijuana exists in the state, but the program has several restrictions and is available only for patients with specific conditions.

Can You Legally Use CBD in Texas?

Yes, anyone can legally use and buy hemp-derived products in Texas. Under previous law, hemp was considered a Schedule I controlled substance, along with drugs like LSD, heroin, and cocaine. The new law that was signed by Governor Abbot removed hemp from the Schedule I list.

There is still some confusion regarding the proper amount of THC permitted in hemp-based products. The Compassionate Care Act that oversees the medical marijuana program puts the threshold of allowable THC as 0.5%. The Hemp Farming Act that is federal law sets the permissible amount at only 0.3%.

It seems, though, that the Texas Department of Agriculture is siding with the federal government and placing their threshold at 0.3% as well, while the medical marijuana program continues with its 0.5% threshold. There is hope among users of medical marijuana as well as the licensed growers that the state will remove or increase their THC-threshold to allow for higher-potency cannabis.

What Can You Use CBD for in Texas?

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Shutterstock / Wut.ti.kit

Now that hemp-derived products are available for sale and consumption, Texans can use it for whatever they want. Previous law made the use of low-THC marijuana or CBD legal only for Texans with the following conditions:

  • Epilepsy
  • A seizure disorder
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spasticity
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Autism
  • Terminal cancer
  • *An incurable neurodegenerative disease

Now that the rules have changed, CBD is more widely available. Only the new law has created problems for those who use medical, low-THC marijuana through the Compassionate Care Program. The cannabidiol or low-THC cannabis available through the program is regulated, tested, and approved by the state, meaning its quality and safety are guaranteed.

The fear is that people with these severe conditions will go toward the retail market, where the safeguards that exist in the state-run program does not (currently) exist. There are plans to make independent, third-party testing of all CBD products mandatory in the state of Texas, but those plans are still only plans. Cannabidiol products currently available in Texas come from out of state, so anyone other than the manufacturer does not assure their quality and purity.

Where Can I Buy CBD Products?

After the passage of the Hemp Farming Act in 2018, many retail locations opened up in Texas that sold hemp-based products. Those establishments still exist. Only the passage of HB 1335 has made things more difficult for brick-and-mortar shops, not easier.

According to the new law, shops selling CBD products must wait until manufacturers comply with the rules regarding labeling and third-party testing to re-stock. Except, those rules do not exist yet. The new rules must first be written before stores can replenish their inventory, which might leave many shops with empty shelves if there is a delay in the implementation of the law.

FAQ about CBD in Texas

When Was CBD Made Legal in Texas?

The sale of CBD products and the growing of hemp was made legal in the state of Texas on June 10, 2019. The bill legalized the purchase, possession, and consumption of hemp-derived products with less than 0.3% THC, which is the legal threshold put forward by the federal Hemp Farming Act of 2018. For now, however, growing hemp in the state remains illegal until state authorities get approval from the USDA for their regulatory regime.

Can Doctors Prescribe CBD Oil in Texas?

No, doctors in Texas cannot prescribe CBD oil. No doctor anywhere in the United States can prescribe CBD oil for anything. The Food and Drug Administration does not recognize cannabidiol as a proven, effective treatment for any medical condition, save for one – Epidiolex.

However, because Epidiolex is CBD-based and approved by the FDA, this classifies the compound as a “drug”, which then makes adding it to any food or other consumable items illegal. But, even though the agency considers it a drug, cannabidiol can only be prescribed for the one condition for which it was approved – childhood epilepsy, which is what Epidiolex treats.

A few days ago, the FDA even sent warning letters to fifteen companies for violations such as:

  • marketing CBD products to treat diseases or for other therapeutic uses for humans and/or animals
  • marketing CBD products as dietary supplements and adding CBD to human and animal foods

Can You Grow Hemp in Texas?

No, you cannot legally grow hemp in Texas, for now. Despite the passage and signing of the HB 1335, the Texas Department of Agriculture has yet to create the legal framework to oversee hemp cultivation in the state. The TDA is currently at work on writing the rules and getting them approved by the USDA. State officials hope to have a system in place by 2020.

All indications, from the TDA website, point to a licensing and regulatory scheme similar to those in other states like Kentucky or Pennsylvania. Anyone or any business wishing to grow and process hemp must apply for a license and submit to the rules governing cultivation, harvesting, labeling, etc.

Final Thoughts: CBD Oil in Texas: Texas Messes With CBD, Finally

CBD is now legal in Texas. It has been a long journey for even cannabidiol and hemp, in general, to become legal in the Lone Star state. Even after the federal government took hemp off the list of Schedule I controlled substances; Texas persisted in criminalizing it.

This stubbornness led to several Texans getting into trouble with the law for possessing even small amounts of hemp extract. There remains a fear that law enforcement might mistake the compound, at least in flower form, for THC-heavy marijuana. This fear is further compounded by a commonly-used testing method that produces false positives for THC content.

Although growers still have to wait for the state to issue grower permits, the new law at least protects those who want to consume hemp extract. Texans can now feel safer about taking a CBD product without fear of arrest and prosecution.

How do you feel about CBD becoming legal in Texas? Have you ever had any unwanted run-ins with the law over hemp extract? Let us know your thoughts by leaving us a comment in the comments section.

Author

Janet Miller

Janet Miller

Janet is a medical specialist with 10 years of experience as a physician and writing passion. She aims to help people and expand humans mindset. Chat with Janet on Twitter @Janet_Miller_MD or via our contact page.

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