According to the U.S. Hemp Roundtable and originally reported by Dallas/Fort Worth’s NBC5, the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office has already arrested a user of CBD in Fort Worth and intends on arresting more, noting that the law states that CBD is illegal without a prescription in Texas. NBC5, in its investigation, also noted that use of CBD in the county is widespread, even amongst law enforcement. This news has caused waves in the hemp industry, especially for those in Texas that sell CBD at retail.
The U.S. Hemp Roundtable issued a call-to-action shortly thereafter, making those who follow them aware of the developments and asking for residents of Texas to write their state legislators to encourage them to pass a bill legalizing the use of CBD without a prescription. They also shared a letter that they sent to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office asking for a hold on prosecution until the legislature had weighed in, noting that a bill was likely forthcoming.
Following the release of this news, the U.S. Hemp Roundtable also issued an alert today that notes that State Rep. Tracy King has introduced a bill into the state legislature that would legalize CBD and hemp-derived products today. The full bill is available to read online.
The developments in Texas offer some insight into the legal hurdles our retail members that choose to carry CBD and hemp-derived products face, both in Texas and abroad, and we hope that this information helps to further educate you on the issues facing you and your business, whether hemp-related or not.
An excerpt of the letter shared by the U.S. Hemp Roundtable is below.
“…last December, the U.S. Congress passed, and President Donald Trump signed, the 2018 Farm Bill, which removes hemp-derived CBD – as well as all ‘extracts, cannabinoids and derivatives’ of the hemp plant – from the purview of the Controlled Substances Act.
Texas law is undeniably unclear about the status of hemp-derived CBD. There is no explicit prohibition for the retail sale of such products, nor admittedly is there any express permission for its sale. Indeed, there is no definition of ‘hemp’ under Texas law. However, while marijuana and THC are generally considered controlled substances under Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 481.032 (Schedule I opiates) (25),(34), there is an exemption from control when these substances are “specifically excepted.” As discussed above, the 2018 Farm Bill removes, and therefore specifically excepts, hemp-derived CBD from drug control.”