How New Legislation Affects Your Access to Smokable Hemp Products
If you keep up on the news as it relates to the hemp industry, you know that the Texas Supreme Court just made a big decision in June of 2022 when it comes to smokable hemp. While there is a lot of uncertainty as to what exactly that decision was and what it means for the consumers who depend on hemp products for relief, we at ZAR have dug through the details to clear up the confusion.
The good news is smokable hemp is still legal for sale and for use in Texas, even after changes in legislation related to smokable hemp. The not-so-good news is that the Texas Supreme Court has now banned the production of smokable hemp within the state of Texas. We’ll get into the specifics of the distinction shortly.
All of this confusion and new legislation comes as a result of the Texas Supreme Court Case No. 21-1045. This case challenged a previous ruling that argued the due-course clause in the Texas Constitution protected smokable hemp production, which had previously been banned prior to 2019. So what really changed and how might this affect you? Let’s demystify this new Legislation.
What Has Changed: The Laws on Smokable Hemp in Texas
Before the 2018 Farm Bill (a bill on the Federal level), smokable hemp (or hemp products of any kind, for that matter) was not legal for sale in the state of Texas. When the Farm Bill was introduced, it allowed for additional regulations in lower governing bodies, thus Texas passed House Bill 1325. This bill goes deep into the specific regulations related to the hemp industry and effectively made hemp legal, but it also banned the manufacture of smokable hemp products. Hemp manufacturers filed a suit in 2019 that resulted in an injunction of the smokable hemp ban, temporarily allowing the production of smokable hemp products. That injunction has now been reversed. Effective after Texas Supreme Court Case No. 21-1045, the manufacturing of consumable hemp products for smoking is prohibited (Sec. 443.204 of Texas Health and Safety Code). If you were curious why all of the confusion only applies to smokable hemp, that distinction within the ruling is the reason.
Now, let’s dig a little deeper into what this seemingly simple sentence means. “Manufacturing” can be defined (among other ways listed) as “the process of preparing, propagating, compounding, processing, packaging, repackaging, labeling, testing, or quality control of a drug or drug product…”(Texas Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, Sec. 431.002). Since Texas Health and Safety code expressly prohibits the manufacture of smokable hemp, none of these listed actions can legally be performed in Texas. That means smokable hemp can’t legally be prepared within the state of Texas, nor can it even be tested in
Texas. Luckily, our 3rd party lab reports are sourced from labs outside Texas, so you can continue to depend on them to know what’s in your cannatherapy products.
Sections 443.206 and 443.207 of the Texas Health and Safety Code expressly permit the retail sale of hemp products and the transportation of those products across state lines respectively. So, since smokable hemp products can’t be manufactured in Texas, this forces cannatherapy providers to source their products from outside of Texas. You’re not alone; it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense to us either.
Despite all of this change, hemp is still not considered a controlled substance, hemp being defined as cannabis plants and their derivatives with a delta-9 THC content of less than 0.3% (as described in House Bill 1325). That also means other cannabinoids are still legal as well, since the specific verbiage of the clause in the health and safety code reads “hemp-derived cannabinoids, including cannabidiol, are not considered controlled substances or adulterants” (Sec. 443.204). As such, you’re free to enjoy hemp products just as you may have before this new legislature.
Frequent Questions After the New Texas Smokable Hemp Ban
Is it legal to smoke hemp in Texas now?
Yes, it is still legal to buy and smoke hemp after the ruling in Texas Supreme Court Case 21-1045 in June of 2022 (at least as of this article’s writing in July, 2022). Smokable hemp might become a bit harder to come by at some of your local cannatherapy shops due to the logistical implications of banning the manufacture of smokable hemp in Texas, but it’s still totally legal for you to smoke in Texas. We at ZAR have a strong network of quality suppliers even outside of Texas, so you can have peace of mind when browsing our online store or stopping into one of our retail locations to see our selection of smokable hemp products.
Is it legal to buy hemp in Texas now?
Yes, it’s still legal to buy and use hemp products in Texas. Nothing has changed on the retail side of hemp when it comes to legality, so hemp products (including smokable hemp products) are still legal to buy and use under House Bill 1325 as of July 2022. Worth noting, the novel legislation passed in June of 2022 only affects smokable hemp for the time being, so other hemp products (like CBD oil & CBD gummies) haven’t been affected at all.
Will hemp get more expensive in Texas?
You might see that dispensaries across will have to raise their prices to combat increased overhead from now having to source their product from outside the state. By increasing the distance between manufacturers and retailers, the cost of transportation goes up. Not only that, but now other manufacturers around the country are being tasked with even greater demand for their product. With demand having been on a steady uptick and now a drop in supply due to the production of hemp being banned in Texas, the laws of economics drive up consumer prices.
At ZAR, we have a pre-established network of distributors that provide our high-quality products from beyond Texas alone. That means you will continue to have access to our line of premium cannatherapy products and you can continue to entrust us with your cannatherapy needs.
Will smokable hemp ever be illegal in Texas?
A primary concern when the restrictive legislature is passed is what this can mean in the future. The legislation passed in June 2022 only affected smokable hemp, but then what’s to stop new legislation to be proposed to similarly restrict other hemp products? Laws such as these impede the ability of people who depend on hemp products for relief to access them, and the exoticization of hemp hurts those simply searching for relief.
Why is manufacturing smokable hemp illegal in Texas?
When House Bill 1325 was passed and the injunction was set in place, the manufacturing of smokable hemp products was considered to be protected under the due course clause of the Texas Constitution. That integral component of the Texas Constitution ensures “No citizen of this State shall be deprived of life, liberty, property, privileges or immunities, or in any manner disfranchised, except by the due course of the law of the land” (Texas Constitution Article I, § 19). However, the ruling in Texas Supreme Court Case No. 21-1045 concluded that hemp manufacturers were not being deprived of a vested right, and instead accused them of seeking to produce products in contravention of the law. So, to sum it up, the Texas Supreme Court agrees it is legal to buy, sell, and possess hemp (even hemp for smoking), but asserts that the manufacture of smokable hemp in Texas is against the law.
Entrust ZAR With Your Cannatherapy Needs
We at ZAR will continue to advocate for those in search of relief to be able to find it in cannatherapy. Day in and day out, we see the positive impact hemp products have on the well-being of our customers, and that’s something we believe is worth preserving. Speak with one of our cannatherapy experts today about how ZAR can fulfill your cannatherapy needs. Between our various locations and our free phone consultations, we are eager to meet with you to expedite and empower your journey to relief.