Texas Health Commissioner Signs Order Descheduling Hemp

AUSTIN, TX — An amendment authored by the Texas Department of State Health Services removes industrial hemp and certain hemp-derived cannabinoids from the state’s controlled substances act.

The order takes effect on April 5.

The order states that under Texas law, “The term marihuana does not include hemp,” as defined under the provisions of the 2018 Farm Act. The language also exempts certain compounds extracted from industrial hemp from the state list of controlled substances.

In December, the President signed legislation into law amending the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 so that hemp plants containing no more than 0.3 percent THC are no longer classified as a schedule I controlled substance under federal law. The Act also broadens the definition of ‘hemp’ (Section 297A) to include “any part of the plant, including … extracts [or] cannabinoids” that do not possess greater than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis. The new order comports Texas’ statutes with the federal law.

Speaking to Congress in March, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said that the Department is working to create federal hemp regulations by 2020.

Under the provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill, US states that wish to license commercial hemp cultivation must submit their plan to the USDA.

Currently, there are no specific Texas statutes establishing regulations for the commercial production of industrial hemp. The state does regulate the production and dispensing of CBD, but only through a narrow medical program.

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