The Chronicle has often covered the chaos Texas has made of its cannabis laws and regulations since it finally took the plunge in 2019 to create a legal hemp industry in the state. Almost immediately after House Law 1325 went into effect in June of that year, it became clear that most Texas police officers and prosecutors could not prove the difference between low-THC cannabis (less than 0.3% concentration of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol by dry weight) ). This resulted in the de facto decriminalization of small amounts of cannabis possession in much of the state, which became more deliberate in cities like Austin, which had directed their police to end enforcement.
Both HB 1325 and the Federal Farm Bill 2018, which for the first time considered low-THC hemp as a legal agricultural product, contain provisions that are intended to draw clear lines between legal and illegal cannabis production. Texas law requires that breeders and producers licensed by the Texas Department of Agriculture cannot process or manufacture hemp for smoking or vaporizing.
However, it is less prescriptive when it comes to the consumer market for hemp products that contain cannabinoids such as CBD (cannabidiol, which is most common in both the market and the hemp plant) or delta-8-THC. Instead, HB 1325 instructs the Department of State Health Services to develop a regulatory system for distributors and retailers. When DSHS launched its Consumable Hemp Program in August 2020, it banned all hemp products intended for smoking or vaping. A group of retailers, with industry support, immediately and successfully sued the entry into force of this rule, arguing, along with their Delta-8 counterparts, that the status quo marketplace was working well and that DSHS had exceeded its limits.
In the case of smokable hemp, plaintiffs found that differences between product types – smoke, vape, tincture, edible, and more – in a cannabis industry that can produce all of these with different concentrations of different cannabinoids to suit consumers, are not large More importance have preferences. The Delta-8 dispute represents the next phase in this development and another dilemma for a conservative state regime that wants to make cannabis legal (and profitable) and illegal (and severely punished) at the same time.
While Texan Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, a big industry innovator, describes hemp as a perfectly common fiber crop, just like cotton – “We grow ropes, not dope” – money is currently being made from cannabinoid products like CBD, which is in the oil Laboratory can be converted to delta-8. As the DSHS struggles to maintain the state’s alien stance on cannabis, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is desperate to step up with the CBD and Delta-8 boom in dietary supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food additives it regulates keep. Although the FDA warns consumers that neither Delta-8 nor CBD products have been tested for safety or effectiveness, and has issued some warnings to companies making unsubstantiated health claims, it “sees the potential”. [therapeutic] Opportunities cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds may offer and recognizes the significant interest in those opportunities, “states the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act website, marketed as dietary supplements or added to human or animal foods, despite the FDA’s approval has shown little interest in enforcement.