Homegrown Hemp? Not Legal in Texas, Yet

The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill officially legalized hemp on the federal level. More specifically, the Bill removed hemp from the list of Schedule I substances, allowing for individual states to create state-specific regulations regarding the production and sale of hemp and hemp-derived products.

In June, Texas Governor Greg Abbot signed a bill legalizing the production of industrial hemp in the Lone Star state. So can Texans begin growing hemp in their backyard? The short answer is no. Paradoxically, the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) explains that growing hemp in Texas is illegal “until the TDA submits a state hemp plan to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and receives approval.” The TDA further explains that no action–including the application for and approval of hemp permits–can take place until the USDA approves the State’s plan.

So when can Texans expect to the State’s hemp plan to be approved? The TDA anticipates receiving guidance from the USDA this fall, but the application process for prospective growers’ will not likely be available until sometime in 2020. Up-to-date information can be found on the TDA’s website, accessible here.

9 thoughts on “Homegrown Hemp? Not Legal in Texas, Yet”

  1. It will be interesting to see what future steps our legislature makes with these laws. Plus, this bill affected a bunch of different areas including criminal law because the legalization of CBD affected the drug screening process.

  2. I am curious how this will play out down the line. I personally can see the clear and decisive difference between hemp and marijuana as well as the potential uses, but I am not sure if others will see it that way.

  3. I am also interested in what this will mean for Texas long term. Specifically, the unintended consequences that inevidably follow leglislation like this.

  4. I can see how hard it would be to regulate legal hemp growth while also trying to battle against marihuana growth. I don’t really know how it’s going to play out in reality, but it’s an interesting problem for lawmakers to have to solve.

  5. This article is an important reality check reminding us that a bill’s passing does not necessarily equal an automatic change in our laws from one day to the next. There are so many hoops to go through before something that was previously illegal can become legal.

  6. This is a very interesting article and brings to light the fact that despite all the laws that have been passed legalizing the growth of hemp, there are still a lot of red tape which needs to be crossed before one can actually grow hemp. Hopefully Texas agencies will move quickly and begin licensing farmers wishing to grow hemp before an underground market incentivises growers to duck regulatory agencies and supply the black market.

  7. It is interesting to see how different parts of the government are coming together on the topic of Marijuana. I can see a very progressive mindset taking over many when it comes to the subject, but any major changes will take time. While there are laws being passed that are promoting, more and more, the overall legalization of the substance, it is clear that regulations will be a little harder to establish.

  8. It’s fascinating that these laws can be passed and yet still punish people for not following a rule-set that hasn’t been established yet. Hopefully more complete legislation follows to make the hemp industry in Texas easier to navigate.

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