Texans like to do things their own way, and they implement changes when they’re good and ready. After Congress passed the landmark Farm Bill in 2018, the state government waited over a year to launch a hemp-growing program.
The Texas hemp and CBD industry has had its ups and downs, but we have good news for those of you who live in the Lone Star State. Hemp flower is legal in Texas.
We’ll check out the details, but first, let’s look at some background information.
What Is Hemp Flower?
If you’re new to the CBD and cannabis scene, you may be wondering what hemp flower actually is. Hemp plants produce all of their beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes in tiny glands called trichomes that coat their flowers. Hemp seeds, leaves, and stems contain other beneficial compounds, but they produce little to no CBD.
CBD manufacturers extract the cannabidiol and other beneficial compounds from the buds, but you can use hemp flower in a variety of ways, such as:
- Cooking edibles
- Making tinctures
- Creating homemade topicals
CBD hemp flower is available in a dizzying array of different strains, each with a distinct flavor, aroma, and effect. Consumers can choose from relaxing indicas, energizing sativas, and strains with unique terpene profiles.
You can also find hemp flower strains that feature other helpful cannabinoids, such as Jack Frost, which contains a high cannabigerol (CBG) content, and delta-8 flower, which features a milder form of legal THC. Many companies also sell pre-rolled hemp cigarettes for your convenience.
When Did Hemp Become Legal in Texas?
Texas Governor Greg Abbott officially launched the state’s hemp industry in 2019 when he signed House Bill 1325, legalizing the production, distribution, and sale of hemp. In Section 112.001, the Bill defines legal hemp as:
“the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds of the plant and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
The Bill officially put the state’s hemp laws in line with the federal regulations outlined in the Farm Bill.
Who Can Grow Hemp in Texas?
After much anticipation, Texas granted its first hemp farming license in April of 2020. Texas residents who wish to grow hemp need to obtain a license through the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Industrial Hemp Program. Applying to become a hemp farmer and maintaining a license involves a six-step process:
- Watch an official orientation video.
- Fill out an application through the TDA’s online eApply system.
- Submit a second application for a Lot Crop Permit.
- Apply to have an official sample taken of the crop within 15 days of harvest.
- Obtain a Hemp Transport Manifest to gain permission to move the crop during sale.
- File a Lot Crop Report no later than 30 days after the final sample is collected or no more than 180 days after receiving the Lot Crop Permit.
What Types of CBD Products Are Legal in Texas?
On April 5, 2019, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) removed CBD and other hemp-derived products from Schedule I of its controlled substances list. As a result, the possession and sale of CBD are both legal as long as the products contain less than .3% delta-9 THC.
Texas discourages CBD-infused food products pending FDA approval. That said, Texans can buy and consume CBD edibles without fear of any legal repercussions. Additionally, delta-8 products remain legal in the state despite moves to ban the compound.
Can You Smoke Hemp Flower in Texas?
In August of 2020, the Texas Department of State Health Services put forth a ban on the manufacturing, processing, distribution, and sale of smokable hemp products. However, a Texas court has halted the ban after several hemp manufacturers sued the state. Fortunately, the proposed smokable hemp ban won’t affect consumers' ability to legally buy hemp flower online.
However, until Texas changes its outdated marijuana laws, you would be wise to enjoy your hemp flower in private. Recreational cannabis use remains illegal in Texas, and getting caught with marijuana carries stiff penalties.
Since legal hemp flower and high-THC cannabis look and smell exactly alike, smoking hemp in public can create misunderstandings with law enforcement. We recommend storing a copy of the lab results with your hemp flower to avoid any problems.
Medical Marijuana in Texas
Texas adopted a medical marijuana program in 2015, and patients have been restricted to products containing less than .5% THC. Medicinal cannabis is available to Texas residents for a limited selection of conditions, including:
- Incurable neurodegenerative disease
- Multiple sclerosis
Effective in September of 2021, amendments to House Bill 1535 have expanded the list of qualifying medical conditions to include cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The recent changes also raised the allowed THC limit to 1%.
Qualified individuals can apply for medical marijuana through the state’s Compassionate Use Program (CUP), run by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Where to Buy Hemp Flower in Texas
When Texans make up their minds to do something, they go big! Within weeks of HB 1325’s approval, CBD shops opened all around the state. Texas residents can find a wide variety of CBD products in local stores. However, some brick-and-mortar shops are reluctant to carry hemp flower and other smokable CBD products.
Texans will have access to a greater variety of hemp flower strains if they buy from an online outlet. Buying hemp flower and other CBD products online offers a range of additional benefits, including:
- Easy access to lab reports
- Online customer reviews
- Ability to purchase directly from the manufacturer
- More competitive prices
- Discreet shipping
Whether you decide to buy locally or online, you’ll need to get a copy of the product’s Certificate of Analysis (COA). COAs are official lab reports that ensure that the hemp flower you buy is free of harmful substances like herbicides, pesticides, molds, and heavy metals. The COA will also state the percentages of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids in the hemp flower.