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Texas Senate moves forward to legalize hemp and CBD


Source - Wikimedia Commons

Though it has in many ways been at the forefront of crackdowns and overreaches since the federal legalization of hemp in 2018, Texas may be turning a corner with regard to cannabis.


Wednesday, the Texas Senate unanimously passed a bill that would legalize hemp and CBD within Texas. After mislead police actions across parts of Texas, including the seizure of thousands of dollars worth of retailers’ inventories, residents in lawmakers within the state seem eager to get back on track.


One reason for this is the huge commercial incentive to get on board with hemp and CBD in time for the surge of productivity, demand and job creation promised by the industry in coming months and years.


Enter the unanimous Texas Senate, which Wednesday passed House Bill 1325 to bring hemp and CBD out of the state’s black market. [1] [2]


There are good reasons so many consumers, farmers and retailers are so drawn to hemp and CBD. The plant itself is a useful textile, which can be used for environmentally-friendly clothing, building materials and plastics. Meanwhile, CBD is sought out by tons of interested buyers who use the non-psychoactive cousin of THC for their chronic pain, epilepsy and a plethora of other uses.


Some CBD products use trace amounts of weed’s active ingredient THC in order to enhance and enable the positive benefits of the less objectionable cannabis compound. The Texas bill passed by the senate Wednesday does call for normal police checks of CBD products in the state to ensure that THC levels don’t exceed the legal limit of 0.3%. [2]


According to the Texas Tribune, the house and senate versions of the bill will still need to be negotiated in committee before the governor can sign it into law in coming weeks. [2]


“[Hemp] is going to be a huge new source of income for our farming community, as well as I think tax revenues to the state will go up,” state Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, said on the Senate floor, according to the Austin Statesman. Perry sponsored the bill in the senate. [4]


The Statesman reports that the bill to liberalize CBD and hemp law may be one of the last hopes for the Texas legislature in a session that started out with many proposal to make marijuana more accessible and legally protected.


Those measures failed, and much of the discussion over HB1325 centered on the fact that it would not legalize marijuana or protect it in any way. [4]


“This is not legalized marijuana,” said state Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown. HB 1325 “provides for the agriculture production of hemp in the state of Texas consistent with what federal law now allows.” [4]


Sources

[1] https://www.kxan.com/news/texas-politics/texas-senate-unanimously-passes-hemp-bill-/2004545877

[2] https://www.texastribune.org/2019/05/15/texas-hemp-farming-legal-under-senate-bill/

[3] https://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas-politics/2019/05/15/bill-legalize-hemp-cbd-products-texas-passes-final-hurdle

[4] https://www.statesman.com/news/20190515/hemp-production-gets-green-light-from-texas-senate

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