Texas loosens state-level hemp ban, but uncertainty remains

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Hemp holdout Texas is taking a big step toward embracing the federally legal plant, with one agency announcing a rule change to remove the plant from the state’s definition of marijuana.

But entrepreneurs hoping that Texas will allow a hemp industry before federal agencies take action say that the April 5 change isn’t enough to allow the booming industry to take root in the nation’s second-largest state.

The change was quietly announced earlier this month, when the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) added a notice to a state register that it would amend its definition of marijuana to carve out hemp with no more than 0.3% THC.

The agency said the change would align Texas’ definitions with the new federal standard adopted in the 2018 Farm Bill.

Hemp activists applauded the change, noting that the agency changing its definition was the same one that said last year it would yank CBD products off shelves.

That crackdown was put on hold pending a legal review.

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Advocates Push to Legalize Hemp Farming in Texas

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Texas hemp advocates want to see fields of green on farms across the state —  and they’re rallying lawmakers to make it happen.

A group of hemp advocates testified Tuesday before the Texas House Agriculture and Livestock Committee about the jobs and economic opportunities that are possible if the state allows Texas farmers to grow the crop. Hemp is a variety of the cannabis plant but has low or untraceable amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the psychoactive compound that gives marijuana users a high.

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Hemp Could be Big Texas Cash Crop if State Legalizes it, Advocates Say

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Farmers in Texas are well positioned to be top producers of what’s poised to become the next major U.S. cash crop — hemp — but only if state lawmakers let them, advocates told a legislative committee at the Capitol on Tuesday.

“Texas could lead the nation’s hemp economy,” said Shawn Hauser, a representative of the American Hemp Campaign. “It’s jobs, family farms and economic growth. It’s just common sense” to legalize the crop in Texas.

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