Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a hemp law that adds the nation’s second-largest state to the list of more than 42 others with commercial hemp farming.
The Texas law takes effect immediately but requires would-be hemp farmers to wait until 2020 to start growing the plant.
The delay is necessary because prospective farmers must wait for state authorities to settle regulations such as THC testing rules.
Other highlights of the new Texas law:
- Farmer application fees are capped at $100, with an additional $100 licensing fee per location.
- THC testing fees are capped at $300.
- Hemp products containing “more than trace amounts of cannabinoids” must carry labels stating that the products are hemp and not marijuana.
- The state does not ban the sale or possession of smokable hemp, just its manufacture.
Lisa Pittman, a Denver cannabis attorney from Texas who closely follows the state’s dealings with hemp, said the law signifies tremendous change in her home state.
“Texas is going to be a leader” in national hemp production, she said.
“We are an agricultural state already, and farmers have been working on this for a very long time.”