Gov. Greg Abbott has now signed House Bill 1325 into law, clarifying the legality of hemp-derived, low THC CBD products in Texas.
On June 10, 2019, Gov. Abbot signed HB 1325 which modified sections of the Texas Agriculture Code and sections of the Texas Health and Safety Code.
The first major modifications come by way of the Texas Agriculture Code. The code now defines and legalizes “hemp” and establishes a legal production plan for the regulation of hemp and hemp-based products.
The Definition of Hemp
“Hemp” is now defined in in Section 121.001 0f the Texas Agriculture code as
“the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds of the plant and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
This definition is essentially the previous definition of marijuana under the Health and Safety Code but now isolates plants that contain less than .3% THC as being legal “hemp”.
By providing a clear definition of “Hemp” including plants or products that contain .3% THC or less, the legislature has resolved the issue that previously existed making the possession of any amount of THC regardless of it’s origin a felony level offense in Texas.
The Texas Agriculture Code has also been amended to establish a legal production plan for the regulation and sale of hemp and hemp-based products. The Code now establishes a licensing process for businesses looking to grow or sale hemp products.
New Rules for Peace Officers
The amendments to the Code also now give powers and duties to Peace Officers who come into contact with hemp regard to determining whether a plant or substance is marijuana or hemp. Under Sec. 122.358 of the Texas Agriculture Code, a peace officer may now inspect and collect a reasonable sized sample of any material from the plant Cannabis sativa L. found in a vehicle to determine the THC concentration of that material. Unless the officer has probable cause to believe the plant material is marijuana, the peace officer may not seize the plant material or arrest the person transporting the plant material. This would include hemp-derived CBD oil containing .3% THC.
In regards to the Health and Safety Code, HB 1325 has amended the code to exclude hemp (and more importantly the THC in hemp) as defined by Section 121.001 from the definition of a Controlled Substance. The bill also now specifically excludes hemp as defined by Section 121.001 (and the THC in hemp) from the definition of “Marijuana” in Section 481.002 (26) of the Health and Safety Code.
House bill 1325 has significantly clarified the previously confusing state of the law concerning CBD products in Texas. We advise those that are selling, buying or possessing CBD products to read the text of the bill for more details.