The state of Texas recently launched its new Consumable Hemp Program that oversees the manufacturing, processing, distribution and sales of consumable hemp products.
On Monday, the Texas Department of Health Services began accepting online applications for consumable hemp production and retailer registrations, according to a news release from DHSH.
DHSH Associate Commissioner for Consumer Protection Stephen Pahl said, “The program establishes a consistent regulatory framework for consumable hemp products that are manufactured or sold in Texas.”
He also stated, “We worked with stakeholders to develop rules that provide clarity for license and registration holders.”
As of August 2, manufacturers and distributers are required by law to have a license to produce and sell consumable hemp products in Texas.
The initial license fee, which is valid for one year, costs $258 per facility.
All retailers carrying consumable hemp products, even those that contain cannabinoids, must register their location by October 2.
The initial registration fee, also valid for one year, is $155 for each location.
“I want to thank all the folks that worked on these rules and look forward to Texans leading the way in the exciting hemp industry,” said Rep. Tracy O. King, a member of the Texas House of Representatives who wrote the House Bill 1325 allowing Texas farmers to grow hemp.
Many critics have argued that up until now, the legal framework for the production and sale of hemp in the state has been confusing for consumers, retailers and manufacturers.
State regulators will continue to modify the logistics of the program as well as conduct random tests of consumable hemp products.
Products may be tested for any of the following: harmful pathogens, heavy metals, residual solvents and concentration levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive property in marijuana.
Under the state law, consumable hemp products can contain no more than 0.3% concentration of THC.
Senator Charles Perry, Senate sponsor of HB 1325, said, “With the passage of the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill, Texas was seeing an exponential influx of products derived from, or including hemp, from lipsticks, to lotions, to CBD oils.”
“These products were coming from states and countries that may not require robust testing or labeling. House Bill 1325 added some of the strongest consumer protections in the nation to ensure these products are safe for consumers. I am pleased to see that these safeguards are being implemented by DSHS to help guarantee our fellow Texans will be purchasing safe products.”
However, hemp leaders throughout the state have high hopes that these new regulations will help consumers purchase better hemp products.
Jax Finkel, the executive director of a local cannabis reform group in Texas, added that the new rules regarding the manufacturing and sale of consumable hemp products should make it easier for consumers to determine what goods are best for them.
"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 added.
What is a Consumable Hemp Product?
A consumable hemp product is a food, drug, device or cosmetic that contains hemp-derived cannabinoids (including CBD) or industrial hemp. These products may not contain more than 0.3 percent concentration of THC.
Any out-of-state consumable hemp products must be processed or manufactured in compliance with the following guidelines:
- the state or jurisdiction’s plan which was approved by the USDA
- in the absence of a state submitted plan or a plan established by the USDA
- must be processed or manufactured under the laws of that state or jurisdiction if the products are tested with or similar to those set out in the HB 1325.
All existing and new retailers wishing to sell consumable hemp products must be registered with the DSHS.
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