HomeNewsTexas Trade Group: Hands Off Hemp

Texas Trade Group: Hands Off Hemp

A newly minted trade association has one simple message for Texas lawmakers – please don’t mess with hemp.

The Texas Hemp Business Council (THBC) is a nonprofit trade association that was officially formed earlier this month with a mission to advance and protect hemp-derived products in the state. Its founding member is Hometown Hero, and its board members are also from the company.

Hometown Hero has been at the forefront of the battle over hemp-derived Delta-8 and Delta-9 products in the lone star state, which have proliferated. The fight has been going on for around three years, since Texas Health And Human Services concluded Delta-9 exceeding 0.3% and all other forms of THC in any concentration were considered Schedule I controlled substances and therefore illegal. A lawsuit quickly followed and while that is in play, Delta-8 remains legal in Texas – for now.

Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has made the issue a priority, directing the Texas Senate to investigate stricter regulations and potentially banning hemp products containing THC.

THBC members will be travelling to the Texas Capitol on May 29 to attend a Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs public hearing on the issue to state its case for keeping Delta-8 and Delta-9 products legal in Texas. The hearing will delve into the sale of intoxicating hemp products and make recommendations to further regulate their sale.

THBC is advocating for a hands-off approach, claiming consumable hemp products have been successfully regulated in the state since 2019.

Hemp-derived cannabinoids are big business in Texas, with one assessment putting it at generating more than $8 billion annually and paying more than $1.6 billion in annual worker wages. The state is fertile ground for such products, particularly while recreational marijuana remains illegal in the state.

While eligible Texans can access medical cannabis via the State’s compassionate use program (CUP) administered by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), that only allows certain physicians to prescribe low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabis.

‚ÄúProhibition will only put consumers at risk due to an illicit market, and the economic damage in terms of business failures, job losses and adjacent economic activity to Texas would be too great,” says CEO and cofounder of Hometown Hero, Lukas Gilkey.

Steven Gothrinet
Steven Gothrinet has been part of the Hemp Gazette in-house reporting team since 2015. Steven's broad interest in cannabis was initially fueled by the realisation of industrial hemp's versatility across multiple sectors. You can contact Steve here.
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