Updates / Information / Education
June 1, 2015 – SB339 IS SIGNED INTO LAW. (Relating to the medical use of low-THC cannabis and the regulation of related organizations and individuals; requiring a dispensing organization to obtain a license to dispense low-THC cannabis and any employee of a dispensing organization to obtain a registration; authorizing fees.)
“The Texas Compassionate Use Act (Senate Bill 339) was enacted by the Texas Legislature in 2015 (84th Legislative Session). The bill required DPS create a secure registry of physicians who treat epilepsy for the purpose of prescribing low-THC cannabis to patients who have been diagnosed with intractable epilepsy.”
As of January 1, 2019 – “The Department’s Compassionate Use Program is not currently accepting applications for dispensing organization licenses. Cansortium Texas (on West U.S. 90 in Schulenburg, TX), Compassionate Cultivation (Manchaca, TX near Austin, TX), and Surterra Texas (Coming Soon near Dallas, TX) are currently licensed.”
June 10, 2019 – HB 1325 IS SIGNED INTO LAW. (Relating to the production and regulation of hemp; requiring occupational licenses; authorizing fees; creating criminal offenses; providing civil and administrative penalties.)
” Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is a strong supporter of industrial hemp production as a new market opportunity for Texas farmers to expand their operations and grow alternative crops.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the commercial production of hemp and authorized states to submit state plans to administer hemp programs. On June 10, 2019, House Bill 1325, was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott. The bill authorizes the production, manufacture, retail sale, and inspection of industrial hemp crops and products in Texas. This also includes products for consumable hemp products which contain cannabidiol (CBD), as well as other edible parts of the hemp plant.
The law will not go into effect until September 1, 2019, which is the soonest date that Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) may submit a state plan to US Department of Agriculture (USDA) for administration of the hemp program. Hemp is not currently legal to grow in Texas.
However, prior to submitting the state plan, the TDA is required to wait for guidance from USDA on implementation procedures related to the 2018 Farm Bill hemp provisions. Recently, USDA has informed TDA that it anticipates releasing that guidance in Fall 2019. TDA must wait for those guidelines prior to developing administrative rules and submitting a plan to USDA.
TDA will then go through the rulemaking process to ensure the Department receives stakeholder and public input regarding the new hemp program. TDA’s administrative rules will relate to licensing, production, testing, seed certification and other program oversight, as necessary. Once the USDA plan is approved by USDA and the administrative rules are adopted, industrial hemp can be grown and cultivated legally in the State of Texas.
TDA anticipates the hemp growing permit application process will begin in 2020.
The regulation of CBD consumables, including CBD oil, will be handled in accordance with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines. The state agency with oversight of CBD consumables is the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and not TDA. Questions regarding those matters should be directed to that DSHS.
June 14, 2019 – HB3703 IS SIGNED INTO LAW. (Relating to the prescription of low-THC cannabis for medical use by certain qualified physicians to patients with certain medical conditions.)
“The Texas Legislature recently enacted House Bill 3703 (86th Leg. Sess.), providing additional medical conditions for which low-THC cannabis may be prescribed and increasing the respective specialties in which prescribing physicians may practice. The Compassionate Use Registry is undergoing the necessary modifications to allow the registration of physicians with these additional specialties and to allow prescriptions for the additional conditions. Implementation of this bill is a top priority of DPS.
HB 1365 – 50% Progression – As of May 15, 2019 the senate has referred this bill to the department of Health & Human Services.
– Relating to authorizing the possession, use, cultivation, processing, distribution, transportation, research, testing, and delivery of low-THC cannabis for medical use by patients with certain debilitating medical conditions and the licensing of cannabis dispensing organizations, cannabis research organizations, and cannabis testing facilities; establishing the cannabis therapeutic research review board; authorizing fees.
SB 90 – 25% Progression – As of February 1, 2019 the senate has referred this bill to the department of Health & Human Services.
– Relating to authorizing the possession, use, cultivation, distribution, transportation, and delivery of medical cannabis for medical use by qualifying patients with certain debilitating medical conditions and the licensing of dispensing organizations and testing facilities; authorizing fees.
HB63 – 50% Progression – As of April 30, 2019 the senate has received the bill from the house.
– Relating to the criminal and licensing consequences of certain marihuana possession and drug paraphernalia possession offenses; imposing a fee.
– In April 2019, the Texas House of Representatives approved House Bill 63, intended to make possession of up to one ounce a Class C (rather than a Class B) misdemeanor. This would have eliminated the threat of jail time and reduced the fine to $500. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick refused to allow Texas Senators a vote on it.
TDA released recently published rules for Texas hemp program