SAN ANTONIO – The Texas Department of State Health Services released its final rules to govern the state’s hemp program. With those rules that take effect Sunday comes a retail ban on smokeable hemp.
Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 1325 into law last June to allow for the production, manufacturing, retail sale, and inspection of hemp products in Texas. The bill included products like cannabidiol, or CBD, and certain other parts of the hemp plant.
Jax Finkel, executive director of Texas NORML — a nonprofit that focuses on cannabis reform — says lawmakers created a hemp program in the last legislative session under the Department of State Health Services.
The goal of the program is to come up with rules and regulations for the hemp industry.
“They lay out the guidelines for what’s allowable in your product. What are the required testing protocols? (It’s) a lot of things that are just kind of like truth in labeling good consumer protections,” Finkel said.
Finkel said the program had already banned the manufacturing of hemp for smokeable purposes in the last session. However, it hadn’t yet expressly prohibit these types of products at the retail level.
So the state asked the public for comment on why it should keep smokeable hemp products on shelves.
“There were just under 1,700 commenters, however, who strongly disagreed with (a retail hemp ban) being included in the rules,” Finkel said.
Because of the retail smokeable hemp ban that’s taking effect on Aug. 2, many shops across Texas will be affected, Finkel says