Judge blocks Texas ban on smokable hemp until trial on matter ends

A Texas judge is blocking authorities from enforcing the state’s smokable hemp ban until a trial resolves the dispute between hemp producers and the health department.

Travis County Judge Lora Livingston said in a ruling Thursday that the group of hemp producers suing state health authorities who enacted the ban “have demonstrated a probable right to relief” sufficient to warrant a temporary injunction.

The injunction will be in place until the conclusion of a trial scheduled set for Feb. 1.

The order from Judge Livingston prevents the Texas Department of State Health Services from enforcing its ban on the manufacture, processing, distribution, or retail sale of consumable hemp products for smoking, which took effect Aug. 2.

The Texas dispute is the first attempt to challenge a smokable hemp ban through state courts, rather than the federal judiciary.

A lawsuit challenging a similar ban in Indiana is pending in that state’s federal system.