News, Politics

Banning Smokeable Hemp Is a Big Texas Failure

September 19, 2022 08:00 am ET
Banning Smokeable Hemp Is a Big Texas Failure

In a blow to freedom and democracy, state lawmakers in Texas banned smokeable hemp. In what many consider an equally heinous move, the Texas Supreme Court upheld the decision to ban smokeable hemp. Currently, residents of Texas make the trip to other neighboring states to buy cannabis, but many of them stay right in Texas and enjoy the benefits they get from hemp.

What’s the hangup with smokable hemp—and what does it mean for people in Texas? Did this happen because law enforcement can’t distinguish the difference between hemp and cannabis? Sadly, this wouldn’t be the first time that authorities mixed the two up. An okra farmer was raided in the middle of the night in Georgia in 2014. The Volunteer State attempted to prosecute Melody Cashion over cannabis and ended up wasting a lot of resources and taxpayers’ money in the long run, ultimately losing their case.

Hot Hemp and a History of Cannabis Issues

Hemp is a type of cannabis that contains very minuscule amounts of THC. In order for hemp to be legal in America, it must maintain a THC level no higher than 0.3%. If THC levels go higher than this, the crop is considered “hot” and is often destroyed to avoid legal ramifications.

Industrial hemp is rich in all the same cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes found in medical/recreational cannabis. After the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp became legal in America, but the way lawmakers are acting, you wouldn’t know it.

What Does the Smokable Hemp Ban in Texas Mean?

When you hear that smokable hemp has been banned in Texas, that is exactly what it means. Not only is smokable hemp banned in Texas, but so is the manufacturing, production, cultivation, and sale of it as well. When the Farm Bill passed in 2018, legalizing industrial hemp in America and removing it from the list of controlled substances, many people embraced it. Hemp cigarettes and smokable hemp flower have created a rather large industry in the state of Texas.

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It wasn’t an easy path and most certainly was a bumpy road for smokable hemp in Texas. The Texas Supreme Court banned smokable hemp in 2019, shortly after the U.S. federal legalization of hemp. On Aug. 21, that decision was overturned by Travis County District Court.

On June 24, 2022, Texas Supreme Court Judge Jeffrey S. Boyd said, “Considering the long history of the state’s extensive efforts to prohibit and regulate the production, possession, and use of Cannabis sativa l plant, we conclude that the manufacturer and processing of smokable hemp products is neither a liberty interest nor a vested property interest that due course clause protects.”

This decision contradicts the Texas Constitution, which clearly states the right to engage in and pursue a lawful business or profession. Hemp is a legal crop in the United States of America, but companies like Wild Hemp of Dallas will now have to move out of state to operate legally. This is going to cost millions in tax revenue for Texas.

A Waste of Resources

Many people also view this as a waste of resources considering that the Texas-Mexico border has much bigger drug problems to worry about. And let’s not forget human trafficking. Now, authorities will have to worry about policing hemp along with keeping up the tight regulation of the state’s cannabis program.

So, no more smokable hemp in Texas—for now. And if you’re in the hemp business in the state of Texas, lawmakers want you to leave; your business is no longer wanted there. Make sure to follow Veriheal to keep up with updates on Texas’ cannabis policy.

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