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New Program To Regulate Texas' Hemp Industry

An industrial hemp plant
Associated Press

The Texas Department of State Health Services introduced a program to regulate the consumable hemp industry in the state.

Consumable hemp products include foods, drugs, devices or cosmetics that contain industrial hemp or hemp-derived cannabinoids, like CBD.

As of Aug. 2, those involved in the manufacturing, processing and distribution of consumable hemp are now required to purchase a license for $258 per facility.

Plus, retailers who sell consumable hemp have to register each location where the products are sold. Each location will need to pay a $155 fee to register and has to do so by Oct. 2. 

Both of those licenses are valid for one year and will have to be renewed when they expire. The Texas Department of State Health Services is currently accepting applications for those online.

State health officials will also conduct random testing of hemp products to check for heavy metals, harmful pathogens or pesticides.

They'll test the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the products, too — that's the psychoactive component in marijuana that produces the "high" feeling.

Federal guidelines require hemp products have no more than 0.3% concentration of THC. 

Republican State Sen. Charles Perry sponsored House Bill 1325, which allowed for the legal growth, production and sale of hemp products in Texas. It passed the Texas Legislature in June 2019. 

"Texas was seeing an exponential influx of products derived from, or including hemp, from lipsticks, to lotions, to CBD oils," Perry said in a press release. "These products were coming from states and countries that may not require robust testing or labeling. House Bill 1325 added some of the strongest consumer protections in the nation to ensure these products are safe for consumers."

The new regulations also solidify the ban of smokable hemp in the state. 

Got a tip? Email Rebekah Morr at rmorr@kera.org. You can follow her on Twitter @Bekah_Morr.

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