Industrial Hemp Laws in the State of Texas

For all Hemp Related resources from the Texas Department of Agriculture, visit:  https://www.texasagriculture.gov/RegulatoryPrograms/Hemp.aspx


Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is a strong supporter of industrial hemp production as a new market opportunity for Texas farmers to expand their operations and grow alternative crops. 

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the commercial production of hemp and authorized states to submit state plans to administer hemp programs. On June 10, 2019, House Bill 1325, was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott. The bill authorizes the production, manufacture, retail sale, and inspection of industrial hemp crops and products in Texas. This also includes products for consumable hemp products which contain cannabidiol (CBD), as well as other edible parts of the hemp plant.

The USDA released its interim final rules on hemp on October 29, 2019.  They can be found here.
The TDA submitted the state hemp plan to USDA on December 2, 2019 and it was approved by the USDA on January 27, 2020.  Administrative rules were published in January 2020 and became effective March 11.
Commissioner Miller and TDA staff held a public hearing on January 22nd to take input during the comment period for the rules. 

The TDA rulemaking process ensures the Department receives stakeholder and public input regarding the new hemp program. TDA’s administrative rules relate to licensing, production, testing, seed certification and other program oversight, as necessary. Now that the TDA plan is approved by USDA and the administrative rules are adopted, industrial hemp can be grown and cultivated legally in the State of Texas.

The hemp growing license and permit application process opened online on March 16, 2020.

The regulation of CBD consumables, including CBD oil, will be handled in accordance with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines. The state agency with oversight of CBD consumables is the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and not TDA. Questions regarding those matters should be directed to DSHS.

 

https://www.texasagriculture.gov/RegulatoryPrograms/Hemp.aspx

https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=5&ti=4&pt=1&ch=24&sch=I&rl=Y 

(a) The Department shall maintain and make available to license holders a list of businesses that sell hemp seeds certified or approved for production, sale, offered for sale, or distributed within the State of Texas.

 

(b) A person may not sell, offer for sale, distribute or use hemp seed in the State of Texas unless the seed is certified or approved by the Department.

 

A person or entity based out-of-state is not required to be a license holder in Texas to sell hemp seed to a person or business entity in Texas, but may not do so unless such hemp seed has been certified or approved in accordance with §24.48 of this title (relating to Certification or Approval of Hemp Seed).

(a) Hemp seed sold, offered for sale, distributed, or used in the State of Texas must meet the legal standards for seed quality and seed labeling required by Texas and federal law, as well the legal standards of the jurisdictions from where the seed is originally sold and produced.

 

(b) Hemp seed sold, offered for sale, distributed, or used in the State of Texas must also meet the additional hemp seed quality and labeling requirements as provided for by the Department.

 

(c) Hemp seed sold, offered for sale, distributed, or used in the State of Texas must contain a clear, legible statement on the label in English in addition to any other language on the label indicating the:

 

  (1) specific variety of the hemp seed;

 

  (2) the seller or distributor; and

 

  (3) the location and jurisdiction of origin of the hemp seed.

 

A person who sells, offers to sell, distributes, or uses hemp seed in Texas shall maintain records for five (5) years indicating:

  (1) the origin of the hemp seed for five (5) years;

 

  (2) the person or entity from whom the person purchased the hemp seed;

 

  (3) any documentation indicating certification or approval of the provenance, quality, and variety of the hemp seed; and

 

  (4) the location and jurisdiction of origin of the hemp seed.
(a) A person may request the certification or approval of a hemp seed for a particular variety by submitting a completed form prescribed by the Department.

 

(b) A person requesting for the certification or approval of hemp seed for a particular variety shall provide the following information to the Department:

 

  (1) name of kind and variety;

 

  (2) a statement concerning the variety's origin, and the breeding procedure used, in its development including evidence on stability (evidence on stability must include any field test reports and sample test results demonstrating the hemp seed was used to grow hemp plants which tested within the acceptable hemp THC Level);

 

  (3) a completed objective form for the crop as provided by the Department Seed Quality Program, if such form is available. The completed objective description form as provided by the U.S. Plant Variety Protection Office may be used in lieu of the Texas form;

 

  (4) a statement delineating the geographic area or areas of adaptation of the variety; and

 

  (5) such other information as may be requested by the Department which may include but is not limited to:

 

    (A) special characteristics of the seed and of the plant as it passes through the seedling stage and flowering stage; and

 

    (B) other evidence of performance of the variety (date, graphs, charts, pictures, etc.) supporting the identity of the variety, if known. If statements or claims are made concerning performance characteristics, such as yield, tolerance to insects or diseases, or lodging, there must be evidence to support such statements. Statistical analysis of data is encouraged.

 

(c) The Department may gather the information described in this section to conduct research and analysis to determine the quality and viability of hemp seed varieties for approval by the Department. The Department may partner with Texas A&M University or a State of Texas institution of higher education to conduct research and analysis pertaining to hemp seed varieties.

 

(d) The Department may revoke a hemp seed variety certification or approval if it determines that the hemp seed variety does not meet the standards described in this section.