Texas announces CBD crackdown, threatens to pull products from shelves

Texas health authorities announced a proposal to yank CBD products from shelves even if they contain no THC and aren’t marijuana derivatives.

The announcement by the Texas Department of State Health Services comes after the state began a limited CBD-only medical marijuana program late last year.

So far, only three producers have been licensed to sell CBD amid enormous hurdles for patients, including limited access to physicians who will prescribe it.

The crackdown comes from a different agency than the one that oversees medical marijuana.

Texas’ State Health Services, which regulates food products, released a “proposed inspection protocol” that says all products containing hemp-CBD will be seized from store shelves across the state and either returned to the manufacturer or destroyed.

The protocol targets products that contain any more than “trace amounts” of CBD or THC.

“Food products, including hempseeds and hempseed oil, containing these compounds would be considered adulterated,” the agency said in its proposed enforcement protocol.

Public comment on the proposal is due April 16, but the agency has not said when a final decision will be made.

Also unclear is whether the Texas decision affects the state’s legal CBD dispensaries. The agency did not immediately answer questions from Hemp Industry Daily about the plan.

Texas cannabis advocates say the CBD crackdown oversteps the agency’s authority.

“This just came out of the blue,” said Patrick Moran, co-founder of the Texas Cannabis Industry Association.

“This office has had no history whatsoever with CBD.”

But CBD seizures wouldn’t be new for Texas.

In 2016, the Texas Department of Public Safety raided four Austin-area pharmacies and confiscated their CBD oil products.

The agency later returned the products after tests showed they contained no THC, according to Houston TV station KHOU-TV. No criminal charges were issued.

Texas’ latest proposal does not outline possible criminal charges for retailers selling CBD products.

CBD is broadly available at smoothie shops, health-food stores and naturopathic health offices across Texas, according to Moran, and the crackdown would be difficult to enforce.

“If you’re going to try to make this illegal, what does this mean for the businesses already doing this?” Moran said.

“They’d be seizing products without any authority, and this (draft protocol) is their attempt to manufacture some authority.”