Texas Governor Abbott Signs Law Legalizing Hemp Production

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott signed a new law Monday that clears up which CBD products are legal in Texas and will also allow local farmers to grow hemp as an industrial crop, including procedures for sampling, inspection and testing.

The law goes into effect immediately.

It expands the kind of hemp products that can be legally purchased in Texas to include any hemp or hemp-derived products containing less than 0.3 percent of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants, including cannabidiol (CBD) products.

While Texans have found oils, tinctures and other CBD goods on store shelves for years, those that contained even trace amounts of THC were technically illegal here.

Now, Texans are free to use CBD without fear of arrest and long as they are:

  • derived from hemp
  • contain less than 0.3 percent THC
  • and meet other labeling and quality standards

In fact, until Abbott signed the hemp bill into law Monday, state law still defined marijuana and hemp as the same, rendering both broadly illegal in Texas. Marijuana and hemp both come from the cannabis plant family. Unlike its cousin, marijuana, hemp contains low levels of THC.

Cannabis laws were a major issue during the 2019 legislative session that wrapped up May 27. While a bill to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana failed, lawmakers approved an effort to slightly expand who can access medical cannabis under the state’s Compassionate Use Act, this bill is still awaiting Gov. Abbott’s signature or veto.  He has until June 16 to make a decision.