This article is authored by Hoban Law Group’s Texas attorney, Ashley Simpson with contributions by Haley Keefer

Through the uncertainty and regulatory slowdown caused by COVID-19, the Texas Department of Agriculture’s (“TDA”) has issued the first hemp license to a Killeen Farmer on April 8, 2020. The license is valid for one year and will allow the licensed farmer to produce hemp under Texas’ U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) approved plan.

House Bill 1325 Authorized the Industrial Hemp Supply Chain in Texas

On June 10, 2019, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 1325. House Bill 1325 authorized the industrial hemp supply chain in Texas. This includes the regulation of the production, manufacture, sale, and inspection of industrial hemp material and products that contain hemp-derived ingredients, such as hemp foods and products that include cannabidiol (“CBD”) derived from hemp. TDA submitted Texas’ state plan to the USDA and the plan was approved on January 27, 2020.

Under the USDA-approved plan, the application process for Texas producers opened on March 16, 2020. Since then, TDA has received 546 hemp license applications. Upon licensure, all hemp licensees must comply with Texas’ USDA-approved plan, which includes testing and disposal procedures, seed certification, transportation, labeling, and recordkeeping requirements. Failure to abide by these regulations will result in a penalty assessed.

Commissioner Sid Miller expressed TDA’s excitement and optimism surrounding the hemp program’s future and the envisioned success that is expected to follow for the state’s hemp producers. Importantly, Commissioner Miller noted hemp’s versatility and utility to diversify farmer’s crops to be used in rotation.

Although the industrial hemp program is new to Texas, the Hoban Law Group possesses the experience and knowledge to assist you in the application process. Please reach out to the Hoban Law Group if you are seeking to apply for a hemp license in any state. Our experienced attorneys are here to help you enter the regulated hemp industry and to maintain regulatory compliance throughout licensure.