On March 15th, the CBD industry in Texas received some great news. John Hellerstedt, M.D., in his capacity as the Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, ordered the Texas Controlled Substances list be amended to exclude hemp products from the definitions of marihuana (marijuana) and tetrahydrocannabinols.
The order is necessary in order to bring Texas in compliance with federal law and the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 which was amended in December 2018 and is commonly referred to as the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, or 2018 Farm Bill for short.
Here is the text of the order:
Department of State Health Services
Order Removing Hemp, as Defined by the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, From Schedule I
The United States Congress enacted the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Public Law No: 115-334) amending the definitions of marihuana and tetrahydrocannabinols in schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, effective December 20, 2018. The amendments removed hemp, as defined in 297A of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, from the schedules of controlled substances.
Pursuant to Section 481.034(g), as amended by the 75th legislature, of the Texas Controlled Substances Act, Health and Safety Code, Chapter 481, at least thirty-one days have expired since notice of the above referenced action was taken. In the capacity as Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, John Hellerstedt, M.D., does hereby order that the listing for marihuana and tetrahydrocannabinols be amended to align with the amendments in P.L. 115-334.
The order updated the following definitions on the Schedule I drug list:
-Schedule I hallucinogenic substances
The term marihuana does not include hemp, as defined in section 297A(1) of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946.
*(34) Tetrahydrocannabinols; meaning tetrahydrocannabinols naturally contained in a plant of the genus Cannabis (cannabis plant), except for tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp (as defined under section 297A(1) of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946)
The definition of "Hemp" under section 297A(1) of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, was recently updated by the 2018 Farm Bill to the following:
(1) HEMP.—The term ‘‘hemp’’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.
The order by Commissioner Hellerstedt was published in the March 15th issue of the Texas Register. The Texas Register is a publication for official state news and public notices. When an order such as this is published, it becomes effective 21 days after the publication date. This order, effective on April 5th, removes all hemp and CBD products from the list of controlled substances in Texas.
There has been a debate for years over the legality of hemp and CBD products in Texas. Several local enforcement authorities have pointed to the controlled substance list as the primary reason for CBD not being legal in the state. Those claims from enforcement agencies should no longer be valid, and as of April 5th in 2019, there is a much clearer picture as to the legality of hemp products in Texas.