A bill to establish a commercial hemp program in Texas was approved by the state House of Representatives Tuesday, April 23. It will now advance to the Senate for consideration.
"It's promising to see so many Texas lawmakers recognize the importance of allowing the state's famers to participate in the national hemp economy," said Shawn Hauser a leader of the American Hemp Campaign, who testified in favor of HB 1325 at the committee's April 1 hearing. "This is an enormous opportunity for Texas given how well-positioned it is to be a leader in this industry.
In summary, HB 1325:
amends state criminal laws and establishes regulations to allow for and govern the cultivation, manufacture, and sale of hemp and hemp products;
tasks the Texas Department of Agriculture with developing a hemp production plan to submit to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which will establish Texas as the primary regulatory authority over hemp in the state; and
establishes a licensing process for hemp farmers and creates rules governing testing, processing, packaging, labeling, and quality control, as well as safety regulations for consumable products that will be made and sold in Texas.
"This bipartisan bill is the product of thoughtful collaboration involving a diverse group of stakeholders," Hauser said. "The discussion was also informed by federal standards and best practices from other states. We are hopeful the Senate will join their House colleagues in supporting it and sending it to the governor's desk for his signature."
HB 1325 is sponsored by Reps. Tracy King (D-Batesville), Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio), Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio), Justin Rodriguez (D-San Antonio), and Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock), along with cosponsors Alex Dominguez (D-Brownsville), Stan Lambert (R-Abilene) and James White (R-Hillister).