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.