A Brief History of Cannabis Legalization in Texas: Crime and Serious Misdemeanor – News

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The the Chronicle has often reported on the mess Texas has made to its cannabis laws and regulations since it finally took the plunge in 2019 to create a legal hemp industry in the state. Almost immediately after Bill 1325 came into effect in June of that year, it became apparent that most law enforcement officers and prosecutors in Texas could not prove the difference between low THC (high concentration) cannabis. less than 0.3% delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol by dry weight), which is “hemp” or “industrial hemp” legal under federal and state laws, and the higher THC cannabis still known in Texas law under the name of “marihuana”. This has led to the de facto decriminalization of possession of small amounts of cannabis throughout much of the state, made more intentional in cities like Austin that have ordered their police forces to end enforcement. law.

HB 1325 and the 2018 Federal Farm Bill, which for the first time considered low-THC hemp a legal agricultural product, include provisions to draw clear lines between legal and illegal cannabis production. Texas law states that growers and producers licensed by the Texas Department of Agriculture cannot process or make hemp for smoking or vape.

It is, however, less prescriptive when it comes to the consumer market for hemp products containing cannabinoids such as CBD (cannabidiol, the most common both in the market and in the hemp plant) or Delta-8. -THC. Instead, HB 1325 directs the State Department of Health Services to design a regulatory regime for distributors and retailers. When DSHS rolled out its consumable hemp program in August 2020, it excluded all hemp products intended for smoking or vaping. A group of retailers, with industry backing, immediately and successfully sued to prevent this rule from coming into effect, arguing as did their colleagues at Delta-8 that the status quo the market is functioning very well and DSHS has exceeded its limits.

In the smokable hemp case, the plaintiffs noted that the distinctions between the types of products – smoke, vape, tincture, edible, etc. preferences. The Delta-8 dispute represents a next phase in this development and another dilemma for a conservative state regime that wants to make cannabis both legal (and profitable) and illegal (and severely punished).

While Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, a big proponent of the industry, views hemp as a perfectly mundane fiber crop, as does cotton – “We grow rope, not dope” – the money that is being made right now comes from cannabinoid products like CBD oil, which can be converted in the lab to Delta-8. As the DSHS struggles to maintain the state’s chimerical stance on cannabis, the United States Food and Drug Administration frantically tries to keep up with the boom in CBD and Delta-8 among supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics. and the food additives it regulates. Although the FDA warns consumers that neither Delta-8 nor CBD products have been evaluated for safety or effectiveness, and has issued some warnings to companies making unfounded health claims, it “recognizes the potential [therapeutic] opportunities that cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds can offer and recognizes the great value of these possibilities, ”according to its website. Because drugs, including CBD and THC, go through or have completed the FDA drug approval process, these cannabinoids cannot, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, be marketed in as a dietary supplement or added to food or feed, although the FDA has shown little interest in the application.


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