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Author: Clay Moore

Lawsuit Dismissal: A Major Win for Texas Cannabis Industry

In a landmark decision, a Travis County judge has dismissed the lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton against Austin’s progressive marijuana decriminalization ordinance. This ruling represents a significant victory for the cannabis industry, signaling a potential shift towards more lenient cannabis policies and enhanced local control across Texas.


The lawsuit, brought forward by Paxton’s office, sought to invalidate Austin’s 2020 ordinance, which decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The ordinance, which received overwhelming support from Austin voters, prioritizes law enforcement resources away from low-level marijuana offenses. It prohibits city funds from being used to test substances suspected to be marijuana, effectively reducing the enforcement of possession laws.

District Judge Jan Soifer’s ruling emphasized that Paxton’s office did not have the authority to challenge the ordinance, stating that the power to enforce state laws lies with local prosecutors. This decision upholds the autonomy of cities like Austin to establish their own cannabis policies, reflecting the desires of their residents.


The dismissal of this lawsuit is a game-changer for the Texas cannabis industry, carrying several key implications:

Enhanced Local Control

The ruling empowers local governments to enact cannabis policies that align with the values of their communities. This could pave the way for more Texas cities to adopt decriminalization measures, fostering a more favorable environment for cannabis businesses.


Market Expansion

With reduced enforcement of minor marijuana offenses, consumer interest in cannabis products is likely to rise. This presents an opportunity for the cannabis industry to expand its market, driving innovation and growth.


Regulatory Clarity

The decision may prompt state legislators to reconcile state and local cannabis laws, providing clearer guidelines for the industry. This legal clarity can help businesses navigate the regulatory landscape more effectively.


Advocacy Success

The success of Austin’s ordinance underscores the power of advocacy and community engagement in shaping cannabis policy. It demonstrates that concerted efforts by industry stakeholders and voters can lead to significant policy changes.


Economic Benefits

As decriminalization and regulation of cannabis gain traction, the economic potential for the industry increases. This could result in job creation, investment opportunities, and the development of new businesses within the cannabis sector.


The dismissal of Paxton’s lawsuit is a monumental win for the cannabis industry, marking a shift towards more progressive and locally-driven cannabis policies in Texas. This ruling sets a precedent for other municipalities to follow suit, potentially leading to widespread decriminalization and a more robust cannabis market.


For the Texas cannabis industry, this decision represents a new era of opportunity and growth. By continuing to advocate for sensible policies and supporting local initiatives, industry stakeholders can help shape a more favorable legal and regulatory environment.


As Texas navigates the evolving cannabis landscape, the cannabis community must remain engaged and proactive. This victory is a testament to the power of collective action and the potential for positive change within the industry.


Texas THC Beverage Challenge: 2024

In a delightful display of taste and aroma, the Texas Hemp Reporter hosted its premier THC Beverage Challenge, bringing together flavors from across the state in a spirited contest of the senses. Held in a lively, yet meticulously controlled blind taste test, six volunteers embarked on a four-hour journey to crown the finest THC-infused beverage. Judging was based on a series of criteria including packaging, intensity, nose complexity, taste complexity, and taste finish, with a perfect score totaling 180 points. The participants, all over the age of 21, were kept in the dark about the brands until the very end to ensure a fair and unbiased evaluation of each entry. This event not only highlighted the creativity and innovation within the industry but also celebrated the unique characteristics that make each entry special. Stay tuned as we dive into the flavorful results of this exceptional competition.

1st Houston Juice (140 pts.)
Houston Juice is the OG THC-infused drink that delivers a potent punch, embodying the essence of Houston’s unstoppable spirit. Each sip combines zesty apple, fiery ginger, and refreshing lemonade, infused with 12 mg of emulsified hemp extract for a cool, relaxing breeze on a hot Texas day, perfectly capturing the grit and grace of its vibrant community.

2nd Honey Suckle – Strawberry Lemonade (139 pts.)
HoneySuckle Brand NECTAR Seltzer offers a refreshing escape with its sparkling blend of sweet strawberry lemonade, infused with 5mg of Delta-9 THC for a gentle, uplifting experience. Perfect for any occasion, this carefully crafted seltzer promises a quick onset of relaxation and joy, making it a must-have that quickly flies off the shelves.

3rd Studio TBD – Green Tea Lemonade – Intense (135 pts.)
Studio TBDs Green Tea Lemonade is an expertly crafted, organic beverage designed for the experienced user, offering a potent blend of 25mg THC and 25mg CBD per can. This low-sugar, low-calorie, gluten-free, and vegan refreshment is infused with fast-acting hemp extract, providing a swift and powerful effect while staying federally compliant and suitable for those over 21.

4th Sweet Sensei – Pineapple Kiwi Express – Fizzy Lifters (127 pts.) (tied)
Sweet Sensi Fizzy Lifters offer an invigorating alcohol-free experience with their Pineapple Kiwi Lemonade, crafted from estate-grown hydroponic flowers using organic nutrients. These refreshing beverages are infused with a full-spectrum, strain-specific, high THC hash rosin, delivering a fast-acting, gentle buzz. Perfect for enhancing your day or relaxing your evening, each sip is a low-dose delight designed to elevate without the effects of alcohol.

4th Studio TBD – Green Tea Lemonade – High (127 pts.) (tied)
This organic single origin green tea lemonade is a refreshing, low-sugar, and low-calorie beverage, perfect for health-conscious consumers. Infused with 10mg THC and 20mg CBD per can, this fast-acting, gluten-free, and vegan drink offers anti-anxiety benefits and complies with federal regulations, available only to those aged 21 and up.

4th Texas Hippie Cooler (127 pts.) (tied)
The Texas Hippie Cooler seltzer is a refreshing journey through the heart of Texas, combining the distinct flavors of peach, grapefruit, and cucumber with a mellow dose of 4.20mg emulsified hemp extract. This low-calorie, low-sugar beverage brings a taste of Texan orchards, groves, and cool waters directly to your lips, ensuring a chill experience that’s as soothing as a summer breeze. Whether you’re enjoying a sunset in Big Bend or dancing in Fort Worth, this
drink is your perfect companion for any Texan adventure, embodying the spirit of freedom and the laid-back vibe of the Lone Star State.

7th Studio TBD – Green Tea Lemonade – Mellow (125 pts.)
Experience the refreshing taste of organic single origin green tea lemonade, a low-sugar, low-calorie option that’s both gluten-free and vegan. Each can contains 4mg THC and 25mg CBD, infused with fast-acting, sun-grown hemp extract, ensuring a calming, anti-anxiety effect while remaining federally compliant. Designed for wellness-focused adults, this beverage requires purchasers to be 21 years of age or older.

8th Hi – Wild Berry (124 pts.) (tied)
Wild Berry Hi Seltzer redefines refreshment with its pure, vibrant blend of natural berry flavors. Each 12oz can harmoniously mixes the seedy essence of raspberries, the ripeness of strawberries, and the tartness of blueberries, infused with 5mg of hemp-derived THC for a zero sugar, zero calorie, and zero alcohol experience. This 100% natural seltzer offers a unique, thirst-quenching taste that’s as functional as it is delicious, making it hard to put down once you start sipping.

8th Ease Up – Watermelon Lime – Oak Cliff Cultivators (124 pts.) (tied)
Introducing Ease Up, a non-alcoholic Watermelon Lime THC Seltzer that elevates your beverage experience with the perfect blend of botanical goodness and captivating flavor. Each 12 oz can combines the natural essence of ripe watermelon and zesty lime, offering a symphony of flavors that tantalize your taste buds while delivering a refreshingly crisp and invigorating sensation. With 10mg each of hemp-derived Delta 9 THC, CBD, and CBG, this sugar-free, zero-calorie beverage allows you to indulge guilt-free, enhancing both relaxation and social moments without compromising your health-conscious lifestyle. Perfect for those seeking tranquility and balance, Ease Up is your ideal companion, committed to well-being with every sip.

10th Sweet Sensei – Purple Tangie – Fizzy Lifters (123 pts.)
Sweet Sensi Fizzy Lifters present a revolutionary approach to refreshment with their alcohol-free, plant-based beverages, enhanced by a patented formula from owner Greg Autry. Crafted from estate-grown hydroponic flowers and all-organic nutrients, these drinks feature a potent, solvent-free Hash Rosin, delivering a gentle, fast-acting buzz. The Purple Tangie variety offers a low-dose cocktail infused with a balanced, full-spectrum, strain-specific, high THC blend, perfect
for enlivening your days and chilling your nights. Enjoy the delightful natural flavors in each sip, designed for a sublime, guilt-free experience.

11th Cannajuice – Mango Pineapple Lemonade (122 pts.)
Cannajuice brings a tropical twist to your refreshment routine with their Mango Pineapple Lemonade, infused with 25mg of hemp-derived Delta 9 THC. This vibrant beverage combines the lush sweetness of mango and pineapple with the crisp tang of lemonade, creating a perfectly balanced and invigorating drink. Each sip offers a potent infusion of THC, ensuring a relaxing and enjoyable experience that’s both delicious and potent. Ideal for those looking to enhance their relaxation with a fruity, flavorful escape.

12th PowerHouse – Lemon Lime – Power Biopharms (118 pts.)
Discover the zesty refreshment of Lemon Lime, a fizzy, sugar-free beverage infused with 5mg of D9 THC per 12-ounce can. Designed to enhance your plant wellness journey, this invigorating drink blends the crisp, clean tastes of lemon and lime for a delightful, bubbly experience. Perfect for sipping on a relaxing day, this product is meticulously crafted to meet legal standards with less than .3% delta-9 THC, ensuring a safe and enjoyable session. Please note: this product is intended for adults over 21, and caution is advised against mixing with alcohol, drugs, or medications, and operating vehicles or machinery after consumption.

13th Hi – Real Cherry (116 pts.)
Experience the bold and luscious taste of Real Cherry, a unique beverage crafted from domestically sourced American cherries. This drink offers a familiar yet distinctly unique flavor profile, combining sweet and dark cherry notes for a fruit-forward taste and a refreshing finish. With 0 sugar, 0 calories, and 0 alcohol, its a guilt-free indulgence. Each 12-ounce can contains 5mg of THC, derived from hemp and compliant with legal standards of less than 0.3% THC. Dive into the deep cherry flavors you’ve always loved, now enhanced with a tantalizing secret that makes each sip irresistibly refreshing.

14th PowerHouse – Strawberry – Power Biopharms (111 pts.)
Indulge in the refreshing taste of this Strawberry-flavored, fizzy beverage, a sugar-free delight infused with 5 mg of D9 THC in each 12-ounce can. This drink offers a vibrant, fruity experience designed to enhance your plant wellness with each sip. Perfectly balanced for enjoyment at any time, it contains 0 sugar, 0 calories, and is free from alcohol, making it a guilt-free choice for those seeking a subtle, relaxing effect.

15th Delta Light – Tropical Mango (103 pts.)
Tropical Mango offers a blissful blend of euphoria, relaxation, and calm with each sip, featuring 5mg of Delta 9 THC and 1mg of CBD in a sugar-free, zero-calorie formula. Perfect for social settings, this beverage allows for easy micro-dosing with its minimal, plant-based ingredients, enhancing any gathering without the guilt.

16th Tejas Tonic – Agarita Berry (100 pts.)
Tejas Tonic introduces the Agarita Berry flavor, capturing the essence of this native Texas bush. Enjoy the distinct, sweet-tart taste of the vibrant red berry that blooms across Texas, especially poignant on 4/20. With no need to brave the prickles of hand harvesting, this beverage brings 25mg of CBD and 5mg of THC to your glass, making it the perfect choice to celebrate the day with a taste true to Tejas.

17th Sweet Sensei – Mellow Melon Berry (99 pts.)
Sweet Sensi Fizzy Lifters deliver a mellow melon berry experience crafted with Greg Autry’s patented formula, using heavenly plant-based ingredients and high THC, solvent-free Hash Rosin. These alcohol-free beverages are made from estate-grown hydroponic flowers and all-organic nutrients, offering a fast-acting, gentle buzz to brighten your day and relax your night.


18th  | Blood Orange – Live Resin (97 pts.)
Experience the invigorating taste of Blood Orange, an expertly crafted beverage designed for & users with its robust blend of 20mg Delta 9 THC and 10mg CBD. This zero sugar, zero calorie drink offers euphoric, relaxing, and calming effects, infused with live resin terpenes and made from minimal, plant-based ingredients.

19th Tejas Tonic – Natural Lime (96 pts.)
Tejas Tonic combines natural lime flavor with a potent mix of 25mg CBD and 5mg THC, enhanced with boosted terpenes for a full-bodied experience. This refreshing drink offers a balanced blend for relaxation and well-being, perfect for those seeking a subtle yet effective way to unwind.

20th Hi – Lemon Lime (76 pts.)
Experience the unparalleled taste of Lemon Lime, where flavors are freshly extracted just days before canning, delivering a clean, crisp, and refreshing beverage. Zesty lime greets you first, evolving into a sweet and juicy limeade finish, with a fruit-forward taste that’s complemented by a sharp tartness, all in a bright, bubbly sip that contains zero sugar, zero calories, and zero alcohol.

21st OnlyDank Drink (70 pts.)
Introducing OnlyDank’s Revolutionary THC-Infused Drink, a passport to pure bliss and a world-first in legal beverages. Enjoy the unique blend of terpenes and hops infused with 20mg of THC in this refreshing, vibrant drink that contains zero carbs, sugars, or calories. This alcohol-free beverage is the ultimate way to elevate any occasion, providing an uplifting and guilt-free moment of relaxation.

Congratulations to Houston Juice for emerging as the standout in the Texas Hemp Reporter’s Top THC Beverage Challenge! We extend our heartfelt thanks to all participants who entered their unique and flavorful beverages into this exciting competition. Your creativity and commitment to quality have truly enriched this event. As we close out this thrilling taste test, we celebrate not only the winners but everyone who contributed, making this a memorable and enjoyable experience for all involved. Here’s to more such spirited competitions in the future! Cheers!

DEA Rescheduling of Cannabis and Its Broader Impact on Texas

In a landmark decision by the Biden administration, marijuana is set to be reclassified from a
Schedule I to a Schedule III controlled substance, reflecting a significant shift in the federal
stance on cannabis. This pivotal change, stemming from recommendations by the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services and propelled by President Biden’s directive,
acknowledges marijuana’s medicinal benefits and promises to reshape research and regulation

The proposed reclassification by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) would not only
relax federal restrictions but also align national policy more closely with the evolving public and
scientific perspectives on cannabis. In Texas, where the legal cannabis industry is nascent yet
promising, this reclassification could catalyze state-level legislative adjustments, fostering
growth and innovation in hemp and marijuana markets.

The proposed shift in cannabis classification marks a watershed moment in American drug
policy, reflecting a broader national trend towards the legalization and acceptance of
marijuana. Several factors drive this shift, including increased public support, as recent surveys
show a majority of Americans favor legalizing marijuana for both medicinal and recreational
use. Additionally, economic analyses suggest that a more relaxed regulatory framework could
significantly bolster the national economy through job creation and increased tax revenues.
Federal recognition of marijuana’s medical potential aligns U.S. policy with those of many other
countries that have already embraced the drug’s therapeutic benefits. This change at the
federal level could also pave the way for enhanced scientific research, enabling more
comprehensive studies on cannabis’s efficacy and safety, which have been restricted under its
Schedule I classification.

Moreover, the shift could have a profound impact on federal criminal justice policies,
potentially leading to decreased incarceration rates for cannabis-related offenses and
addressing racial disparities in drug-related arrests. This is seen as a step towards correcting
historical injustices associated with the war on drugs.

For Texas businesses, this shift could reduce significant tax burdens under IRS code Section
280E, which has long stifled the financial viability of legal cannabis enterprises. By potentially
introducing tax deductions and credits typical to other businesses, Texas could see an influx of
investment and development in the cannabis sector. Additionally, easing research restrictions
could spur pharmaceutical innovation and broader acceptance of cannabis in medical
communities across the state.

DEA Online

The reclassification is expected to influence Texas’s approach to cannabis-related criminal
justice. With federal acknowledgment of cannabis’s medical applications, state policymakers

might be encouraged to reform punitive laws that disproportionately affect minority
communities. This could lead to broader discussions about expungement of past convictions
and more equitable legal frameworks, aligning with a growing national recognition of the need
for criminal justice reform in the context of cannabis.

While the federal shift is a significant advance, it introduces new challenges for regulatory
adaptation and market readiness in Texas. The state must navigate these changes amidst
existing legal frameworks and public opinion, which varies widely across its diverse population.
Community leaders and advocates emphasize the need for a thoughtful approach that balances
economic benefits with social justice and public health considerations.

As Texas and the rest of the nation anticipate the official enactment of these changes following
a public comment period, the cannabis industry remains poised at the threshold of a new era.
Stakeholders, including local businesses, healthcare providers, and legal experts, will need to
collaborate closely to ensure that the transition supports sustainable growth and reflects the
complex, nuanced needs of Texans.

The rescheduling of cannabis marks a significant milestone in the journey towards more
rational, science-based drug policies. For Texas, it represents an opportunity to redefine its
cannabis landscape, promising economic prosperity, enhanced medical research, and progress
in social justice. As federal and state policies continue to evolve, the dialogue between
policymakers, industry leaders, and communities will be crucial in shaping a balanced approach
to cannabis regulation.

Your Step-by-Step Guide to Launching a Successful CBD/Smoke Shop in Texas

Starting a CBD/Smoke Shop in Texas can be a rewarding business venture, especially with the growing acceptance and legal status of hemp-derived products. This comprehensive guide is designed to help you navigate through the initial setup process, from obtaining the necessary licenses to stocking your shelves with products, setting up your physical space, and more.


Licensing and Registration

Obtaining a License In Texas, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) manages the licensing and registration of consumable hemp products (CHPs) businesses. Depending on your business activities, you’ll need to obtain either a DSHS Retail Hemp Registration or a Consumable Hemp Product License.


DSHS Retail Hemp Registration is required if you:

  • Retail sell CHPs without making any changes to the product or its packaging.
  • Sell CHPs online without a storefront and make no changes to the products or packaging.


Registration applicants are not required to undergo an FBI fingerprint criminal background check. For the complete process, refer to the DSHS Retail Hemp Registration Guide (PDF).


DSHS Consumable Hemp Product License is required for activities such as:

  • Manufacturing CHPs, including preparing, compounding, processing, packaging, or labeling.
  • White labeling or private labeling CHPs.
  • Repackaging, labeling, or relabeling CHPs.
  • Selling CHPs in wholesale.


Both processes start on the DSHS Business and Professional Licenses webpage.


Setting Up Product Inventory with AWS Wholesale

AWS Wholesale is a distributor where new shop owners can get their inventory. The setup process involves:


Registration: Navigate to AWS Wholesale’s website and click ‘Register’ in the top right corner. Fill in your business name, email, and password. It’s crucial to use the email associated with your business for all correspondence and registration.


New Customer Form: Before placing your first order, complete the New Customer Form/Pact Act here to get approved. This step is necessary to access pricing and order capabilities.


First Order: Note that the first order must meet a minimum of $500. This initial investment is standard for wholesale purchasing to establish your inventory.


Setting Up Rack Space and Shelving Solutions

To efficiently display your products, setting up rack space and finding the right shelving solutions is vital. AWS Wholesale partners with National Wholesale Supply for display cases. You can contact their representative, Nipul Sangh, at 737-497-6457 for options that suit your store layout and product display needs.

Acquiring a Sign for the Building

A visually appealing sign can significantly attract more customers to your store. In Austin, Sign Expo Austin comes highly recommended for creating business signs. They are located at 10210 N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd suite 200, Austin, TX 78753. Contact them via email at to discuss your signage needs.

Lease Assistance in the Austin Area

For those setting up shop in Austin, navigating the leasing process is crucial. Contact Rahim Kachchhi at 512-846-6000 or via email at for leasing advice and services. Finding the right location is critical to the success of your CBD/Smoke shop, and professional assistance can provide invaluable insights into the best spots and deals.


Starting a CBD/Smoke Shop in Texas involves a series of regulated steps, from licensing to setting up your storefront. By carefully navigating the regulatory requirements, partnering with reliable suppliers like AWS Wholesale, and investing in your store’s physical appearance and location, you can establish a successful business in this growing industry. Remember, the key to a prosperous CBD/Smoke Shop lies in compliance, quality inventory, and an appealing shopping environment.

“Reggae Under the Stars”: A Rhythmic Journey in the Heart of Texas

This May, the serene landscapes of Texas will sway to the soulful rhythms of reggae music as the “Reggae Under the Stars” festival makes its much-anticipated return. Nestled near the tranquil waters of Canyon Lake, this 4-day, 3-night camping extravaganza, scheduled from May 16-19, 2024, is set to infuse the Texas hill country with the vibrant spirit of reggae culture.


In its second year, “Reggae Under the Stars” is expanding its horizons, welcoming an eclectic lineup of 17 bands from across the local scene and the nation. This festival is not just a gathering but a celebration of reggae’s enduring legacy, promising to immerse attendees in a sea of rhythmic beats and harmonious melodies that resonate with the soulful essence of reggae music.


Tickets have been released, inviting enthusiasts to join this rhythmic journey for $125 plus tax, offering all-access passes to four days of musical bliss, cultural enrichment, and communal harmony. The festival’s commitment to creating a family-friendly environment shines through, with children 12 and under enjoying free admission, ensuring that the reggae spirit is passed on to the next generation.


But “Reggae Under the Stars” is more than just a music festival; it’s a holistic experience woven with threads of relaxation, wellness, and cultural exploration. Attendees are invited to start their days with yoga and meditation sessions on Friday, embodying the reggae ethos of peace, love, and unity. As the sun sets, the festival grounds will come alive with after-hour parties, each night offering a unique vibe under the starlit Texas sky.


Culinary delights await as food trucks serving Jamaican and islander cuisines promise to tantalize taste buds, transporting festival-goers to the Caribbean with every bite. From spicy jerk chicken to sweet plantain dishes, the flavors on offer will be as diverse and vibrant as the music.

Embracing the future while honoring the roots of reggae, “Reggae Under the Stars” also goes high-tech with innovative offerings that blend seamlessly with the laid-back atmosphere. From AI-powered kiosks to cashless payments, the festival is setting a new standard for how technology can enhance the festival experience, ensuring convenience and security for all attendees.


As we look forward to this gathering of souls united by the love of reggae, “Reggae Under the Stars” invites you to be part of a community that cherishes music, nature, and each other. With its enchanting blend of reggae zest, cultural immersion, and communal vibe, this festival is poised to leave an indelible mark on the hearts of all who attend.


For more information, follow the festival on Instagram @reggaeunderthestars or reach out via email at Join us as we celebrate the spirit of reggae under the vast Texas sky, creating memories that will echo in our hearts long after the last note fades.

Up in Texas: Cheech & Chong’s Cannabis Co.

Get ready to light up your humor because Cheech & Chong are rolling into the Lone Star State blazing with: Cheech & Chong’s Cannabis Co. Brands! This dynamic duo has been sparking joy and laughter for decades, and now they’re taking their high times to a whole new level, expanding into 14 states and finally making their grand entrance into Texas.

Imagine the scene: the iconic pair, known for their groundbreaking comedy and love for all things cannabis, have cultivated an exceptional line of products that are sure to elevate your spirits and tickle your funny bones. From invigorating infused beverages that’ll have you sipping on bliss, to mouthwatering gummies that promise a burst of flavor and fun with every chew, Cheech & Chong’s Cannabis Co. is setting the bar high.


But wait, there’s more! They haven’t just stopped at edibles. Their selection boasts delicious, infused beverages, premium flower and potent concentrates, ensuring that there’s something for every enthusiast out there. Whether you’re a fan of the classic puff or prefer the refined experience of a concentrate, Cheech & Chong have got you covered.

And because no party is complete without a proper celebration, mark your calendars for the Cheech & Chong’s OutLaw party at SXSW in Austin on March 12, 2024. It’s not just any party; it’s a testament to the duo’s legendary status and their commitment to spreading joy through cannabis. You can snag your tickets at and be part of this unforgettable bash.


For those eager to explore the full range of Cheech & Chong’s Cannabis Co. offerings, a visit to their website is a must. It’s your one-stop-shop to check out the latest strains, edibles, and accessories that are making waves across the country and now, soon in Texas.


So, whether you’re a longtime fan of the comedic duo or a cannabis connoisseur looking to try something new, Cheech & Chong’s Cannabis Co. is bringing the party to you. With their unique blend of humor, quality cannabis products, and an unyielding passion for spreading love and laughter, they’re sure to make a big splash in the Texas cannabis scene. Get ready to join the fun and let Cheech & Chong take you on a high-flying adventure that’s guaranteed to be nothing short of legendary.

Bayou City Hemp Co. Beverages in 2024

The Texas beverage scene is buzzing more than ever in 2024, thanks to an exhilarating wave of THC and CBD-infused drinks that promise not just refreshment but a novel sensory experience. Leading this vibrant surge are innovative Texas-based brands like HOWDY, 8th Wonder, and Beach Break. Each brand showcases a distinctive approach to cannabis beverages, offering flavors, dosages, and experiences that are as unique as they are enjoyable.


HOWDY: The Cosmic Cowboy of Cannabis Beverages

HOWDY has carved a niche for itself with its playful and pioneering range of cannabis-infused seltzers. Each beverage in their lineup is a testament to their commitment to quality and innovation:


Ranch Water & Paloma: Starting with a subtle 2.5mg of hemp-derived THC per 12oz can, these seltzers are perfect for those seeking a mild yet memorable buzz. The Ranch Water offers a refreshing twist on a Texan classic, while the Paloma is a citrusy delight, both packaged in convenient 4-pack boxes.


Sweet Tea & Lemonade: Soon to join the roster are these quintessentially Southern flavors, each with a slightly higher dosage of 5mg THC. Designed for those who prefer a slightly stronger effect, these drinks promise to deliver both comfort and a kick, all while encapsulating the essence of a laid-back, sunny afternoon in Texas.


HOWDY’s ethos is all about creating moments of joy and connection, offering a “cosmic” twist to the social drinking experience. Their beverages are crafted to be fast-acting and short-lived, ensuring you can easily find your sweet spot.

8th Wonder: Embrace the Wonder of THC Beverages

8th Wonder pays homage to Houston’s innovative spirit with its dive into the hemp beverage market. Each drink is a celebration of the city’s history and a step forward in beverage innovation:


Lil Bit: With Cherry Limeade and the upcoming Peach Mango flavors, these 2mg THC, 8oz cans are perfect for those seeking a mild touch of THC without having to drink 12oz of liquid. They offer a gentle introduction to THC beverages, marrying bright, fruit-forward flavors with a light, enjoyable high.


Wonder Water – Sparkling Lime: Wonder Water launched in 2021 as Texas’ first THC seltzer, and one of the first hemp-derived THC beverages in the country. Elevating the experience with 8mg of THC, this 12oz can is a bolder choice. The crisp, sparkling lime flavor is both refreshing, invigorating, and a great health-conscious option as it has zero calories. Wonder Water is ideal for those looking to dive deeper into the world of cannabis-infused refreshments.


8th Wonder’s journey from a brewery and distillery to a trailblazer of THC Seltzers is inspired by a partnership with Bayou City Hemp Company, blending the worlds of traditional brewing and beverage making with the innovative edge of cannabis extraction and science.


Beach Break: Escape with Every Sip

Beach Break brings an ethos of relaxation and quality to the fore with its sparkling THC beverages. Each flavor is a crafted escape, inviting you to unwind wherever you are:


Swell Berry & Watermelon: These flavors stand out with their 5mg THC content in each 12oz can, offering a medium-strength option for consumers. Swell Berry combines the nuanced tastes of berries and citrus, while Watermelon offers a juicy, refreshing dive into relaxation. Both are designed to transport you to your personal coast, be it a beach, a porch, or a city balcony.

Beach Break is meticulous about its craft, overseeing the entire process from seed cultivation to the final product. This dedication ensures that each can is not just a drink but a premium escape into tranquility.


As the THC beverage market continues to expand in 2024, Texas brands are at the forefront, offering an array of drinks that cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences. Whether you’re intrigued by the cosmic allure of HOWDY, inspired by the pioneering spirit of 8th Wonder, or in search of tranquility with Beach Break, there’s a cannabis-infused beverage out there for you. These brands are not just quenching thirst; they’re revolutionizing the way we experience cannabis, one flavorful sip at a time.




8th Wonder –


Beach Break –  (coming soon)

2024 Counter Culture Awards

Bahama Mama & Ropeace: Redefining Excellence in the Counter
Culture Industry with Best Retailer in the Central USA Award


In an era where the counter culture industry is burgeoning, with new brands and stores
popping up at every corner, standing out from the crowd is no small feat. Yet, Bahama
Mama & Ropeace CBD Wellness has done just that. Established in 2020 by a
management team with a combined 25+ years of retail experience, it quickly rose to
prominence, expanding to 65+ locations by the end of 2023. This rapid growth and
commitment to excellence culminated in a significant accolade at the beginning of 2024:
Bahama Mama / Ropeace was awarded Best Retailer in the Central USA at the Counter Culture Awards, held during the CHAMPS trade show in Las Vegas on February 14th.


The Counter Culture Awards are known for recognizing the best in the industry—those
who push the boundaries, innovate, provide exceptional service to their customers and
contribute to the betterment of the industry. Winning such a prestigious award is a
testament to Bahama Mama & Ropeace dedication to creating an unparalleled
shopping experience. Unlike typical smoke shops & CBD retailers, Bahama Mama &
Ropeace prides itself on creating a luxurious, product-rich environment that puts
customers first. This customer-eccentric approach, combined with a constant curation of
the highest-quality products and knowledge-based sales approach, has set Bahama
Mama & Ropeace apart in the competitive landscape of counter culture retail.
What makes Bahama Mama / Ropeace victory at the Counter Culture Awards even
more remarkable is the company’s history. In just three years, Bahama Mama, which
started in Houston has not only expanded its footprint across multiple cities (with
Ropeace launching in Austin in 2021) but has also created a strong, family-like
relationship with all vendors across every vertical of its supply chain. The keen attention
to detail on their execution has created a “customer-first” company culture that is
embodied by even the most junior staff members who have successfully retained this
culture as it scaled over the past three years.



For those in Houston, Austin and Dallas looking to experience what makes Bahama
Mama /  Ropeace the Best Retailer in the Central USA the options are plentiful. With
several locations in and around the city, customers can easily find a store near them.
For those in Austin, Ropeace locations are found on both sides of the river. Each
location is designed to offer a unique shopping experience that reflects the brands
commitment to luxury and quality. Whether you’re a connoisseur of the counter culture lifestyle or new to the scene, Bahama Mama /  Ropeace knowledgeable staff and wide
range of products ensure that every visit is both educational and enjoyable.

Bahama Mama & Ropeace victory at the Counter Culture Awards is not just a win for
the brand but a win for the industry at large. It signifies a shift towards more customer-
focused, experience-driven retail environments in the counter culture market. As
Bahama Mama / Ropeace continue to grow and evolve, it sets new standards for what
consumers can expect from their retail experiences. The award for Best Retailer in the
Central USA is just the beginning for Bahama Mama & Ropeace brand, and the industry will undoubtedly be watching what they do next with great interest.

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Innovative Dispensary by Freeway Ricky Ross

As the United States progresses with cannabis legalization, a transformative wave is reshaping perceptions and uses of this plant. Despite federal hesitations, state-level advancements are paving the way for a renewed understanding of cannabis, emphasizing its medicinal benefits and reducing longstanding stigmas. In this evolving landscape, the need for education and innovative consumer engagement has never been more apparent, leading some businesses to take matters into their own hands.


One such pioneer is Ricky Donnell Ross, known as Freeway Rick Ross, who is at the forefront of integrating cutting-edge technology in the cannabis retail space with the launch of Freeway Ricky’s Dispensary in Los Angeles, California. This venture not only aims to offer an enriched shopping experience but also seeks to educate consumers on cannabis through advanced AI-powered solutions and the acceptance of cryptocurrencies.


Freeway Ricky’s Dispensary: A Nexus of Innovation and Education


Located in the Sunland region of Los Angeles, Freeway Ricky’s spans over 3,000 square feet, dedicating itself as a hub for future-forward cannabis retail. Emphasizing customer engagement and education, the dispensary introduces AI-powered kiosks that facilitate both learning and transactions, including an option for cryptocurrency payments. This approach reflects a broader trend of digital transformation across various industries, aiming to enhance convenience and safety for consumers.


The Team Behind the Vision


Ross collaborates with a skilled team comprising Diedra Greenaway, Eric Hughes, and Scott Lambert, each bringing a unique set of experiences and expertise to the table. This diverse team underscores a commitment to operational excellence, strategic marketing, and sound financial management, positioning Freeway Ricky’s as a leader in the cannabis retail sector.


Embracing Cashless Transactions and Educational Tools


Acknowledging the shift towards cashless economies, Freeway Ricky’s is pioneering the use of cryptocurrency within the cannabis industry, despite current regulatory and banking challenges. This initiative not only anticipates future trends in digital payments but also aligns with the dispensary’s goal of providing a seamless and modern shopping experience.


The utilization of AI in customer service, specifically through interactive kiosks, allows Freeway Ricky’s to personalize consumer interactions, guiding users to products that best suit their needs. This technological adoption not only streamlines the shopping process but also plays a crucial role in educating consumers about the diverse benefits and uses of cannabis products.


A Vision Rooted in Redemption and Community Empowerment

Ross’s journey from his past involvement in the Iran-Contra affair to becoming a cannabis entrepreneur is marked by redemption and a desire to impact positive change. Through Freeway Ricky’s, Ross envisions a platform that not only serves the cannabis community through innovative technology and education but also engages and uplifts marginalized groups affected by past cannabis policies.


Freeway Ricky’s Dispensary stands as a testament to the evolving cannabis industry, where technology and education converge to redefine consumer experiences. By prioritizing knowledge, innovation, and inclusivity, Ross and his team are setting new standards for cannabis retail, highlighting the potential for businesses to drive change and foster a deeper understanding of cannabis as medicine and a lifestyle choice.

Snoop Dogg’s ‘Do It Fluid’: A Refreshing Twist in Cannabis Beverages

The cannabis beverage market is buzzing with the latest entrant – Snoop Dogg’s ‘Do It Fluid.’ This collaboration between the rap icon and Hill Beverage Co. signals a significant shift in cannabis consumption trends, blending the world of music, culture, and cannabis innovation.


The Snoop Dogg and Hill Beverage Co. Collaboration


Snoop Dogg’s venture into the cannabis beverage industry with Hill Beverage Co. isn’t just about creating a drink; it’s about a lifestyle shift. The line named ‘Do It Fluid’ is designed to offer a high-quality, all-natural alternative to smoking. The drinks contain both CBD and a touch of Delta-9 THC, derived from hemp. However, the THC content is carefully measured to stay under the legal limit, ensuring a safe yet enjoyable experience.

The Product Line


The ‘Do It Fluid’ range includes flavors like Blood Orange, Blue Razz, Cherry Limeade, and Peaches ‘n Honies. Each 8-oz can contains 3mg of THC and 25mg of CBD. The emphasis is on delivering a natural and high-quality drinking experience, suitable for both long-time cannabis enthusiasts and newcomers.


Jake Hill of Hill Beverage Co. brings his expertise in cannabis-driven technologies to ensure the highest quality. The beverages boast real fruit juices and purees, aiming for a consistent and premium experience. The proprietary blend of cannabinoids allows for immediate absorption, offering effects within minutes – a notable advantage over traditional edibles.


Future Plans

The launch of ‘Do It Fluid’ has been met with enthusiasm, highlighting a growing interest in alternative cannabis consumption methods. The collaboration between Snoop Dogg and Hill Beverage Co. is seen as a significant step forward in the cannabis beverage sector, providing an inviting option for those seeking a non-traditional way to enjoy cannabis.


At Texas Hemp Reporter Magazine, we’re always excited about innovative cannabis products. We’d love to see more of Snoop Dogg’s beverages in Texas, offering our readers a taste of this unique blend of music, culture, and cannabis innovation. ‘Do It Fluid’ represents not just a product but a new direction in the cannabis industry, and we’re all for bringing this refreshing twist to the Lone Star State.



Carlos Qualls: Revolutionizing the CBD Industry with Innovative Leadership and Strategic Growth

Leading with Vision: Carlos Qualls at the Helm of CBD Pros USA


In the dynamic landscape of cannabinoid products, CBD Pros USA emerges as a leading company in the United States, thanks in large part to the strategic leadership of Carlos Qualls, Senior Buyer & Vice President of Sales. His journey from Buckle to the forefront of the CBD industry is a story of visionary leadership and innovative strategies that are shaping the future of cannabinoid products.


A Strategic Shift to CBD Leadership


Carlos’s transition from his successful tenure at Buckle to CBD Pros USA was a calculated move. Recognized for his exceptional sales acumen and leadership qualities by Cody Fisher, co-owner of Buckle, Carlos was perfectly poised to take on the challenge of propelling CBD Pros USA to new heights. His decision to join the company marked the beginning of a transformative era in its history.


Redefining Industry Standards at CBD Pros USA


At CBD Pros USA, Carlos has been instrumental in establishing a culture that emphasizes education, unparalleled customer service, and leadership development. This approach has set CBD Pros USA apart, ensuring that every customer experience is consistent and enlightening across all locations. By fostering a team of knowledgeable leaders, Carlos has enabled the company to excel in balancing top-notch customer service with effective sales techniques.


Expanding Reach and Influence


Under Carlos’s guidance, CBD Pros USA has achieved significant milestones. When Carlos joined CBD Pros USA in 2019 they had one store. Currently, CBD Pros USA has 23 stores across the United States and 14 dispensaries in New Mexico. Strategic partnerships, such as the one with Cheech and Chong for NASCAR sponsorships, showcase the company’s expanding influence in the industry.


Quality and Transparency: The Cornerstones of Trust


CBD Pros USA stands out for its unwavering commitment to product quality and transparency. Adhering to third-party testing and securing certifications like USDA organic and GMP, the company ensures that customers have access to safe and reliable products. Carlos has championed these practices, understanding that customer trust hinges on product integrity and transparency.



Education and Training: The Foundation of Excellence


Recognizing the complexities surrounding CBD and cannabinoid products, Carlos has prioritized comprehensive education and training for all team members. This focus on knowledge empowers employees to provide insightful guidance to customers, further solidifying the company’s reputation as a leader in the cannabinoid market.


Navigating Challenges with Foresight and Resilience


Carlos’s role in navigating challenges, from public misconceptions to regulatory complexities, has been pivotal. His proactive involvement in the hiring process and strategic marketing ensures that CBD Pros USA not only maintains high standards but also actively educates the public about the benefits and safety of cannabinoid products.


Community Engagement and the Road Ahead


CBD Pros USA’s commitment to community engagement, evident in initiatives like food drives and volunteering, adds a meaningful dimension to its business model. Looking to the future, Carlos envisions leveraging the company’s growth for further expansion, particularly if legislative changes in Texas occur. His foresight and planning are setting the stage for CBD Pros USA to continue its trajectory as a national leader in the cannabinoid market.


Carlos Qualls’ Impact on CBD Pros USA and Beyond


Carlos Qualls’s journey at CBD Pros USA is not just about leading a company; it’s about setting new standards and driving growth in the cannabinoid industry. His story reflects a blend of strategic insight, unwavering commitment, and innovative leadership, positioning CBD Pros USA as a beacon of excellence in the United States’ cannabinoid market.

Ray Kaderli and His Visionary Approach to Hemp Building

In an industry burgeoning with possibilities, Ray Kaderli stands out not just for his innovative use of hemp as a building material, but also for his forward-thinking vision. As we go into the world of hemp building through Ray’s eyes, we find a blend of pragmatism, passion, and environmental stewardship shaping the future of sustainable construction.

Ray’s journey into hempcrete was initially driven by a quest for efficient and durable building materials. This quest became a passion when he discovered hempcrete’s sustainability  benefits following the 2018 Farm Bill. His company’s mission revolves around using healthy, planet- friendly materials to revolutionize the building industry.

Ray’s pragmatic approach to building materials evolved into a passionate entrepreneurial pursuit. The legalization of industrial hemp opened a world of opportunities, and Ray was quick to recognize the potential in hemp building. His previous experience in compost and organic recycling further fueled his drive for environmental stewardship, aligning perfectly with the opportunities hemp presented.

Ray identifies supply chain issues, lack of knowledgeable professionals, and distractions as the primary challenges in hemp building. His company addresses these through networking, leadership, and educational efforts. Initiatives like and are testaments to his commitment to developing professional
resources and fostering a focused community in the hemp building sector.

Aiming to make hemp building mainstream, Ray’s company focuses on innovation in materials and methods. They are exploring mechanical installation, prefabrication, and new material mixtures, aiming to simplify and enhance hemp building processes.

Hemps ability to significantly reduce both embodied and operational carbon makes it a winner in sustainable building. Ray emphasizes the importance of moving beyond divisive political rhetoric to unite environmental stewardship and economic opportunity under one banner. Education is a key pillar for Ray’s company. Through Hemp Build School and participation in the US Hemp Building Association (USHBA), they aim to educate professionals and the public about the benefits of hemp building. The 2018 Farm Bill was a game-changer, according to Ray. He emphasizes the importance of understanding and navigating the evolving regulatory landscape, including codes, standards, and testing requirements, for the future of hemp building.

Ray’s company has evolved with a clear focus: PROJECTS. The demand for hemp building projects drives their growth, and Ray envisions a future where this demand only increases, propelled by successful project completions. Being an early adopter has given Ray a unique advantage. He believes in cooperating with peers for mutual success. His goal is to facilitate and supply projects, fostering a community where success is shared.

Looking back, Ray finds satisfaction in the stability and relationships built through his hemp building journey. The once uncertain path now seems more defined and promising, thanks to the collective efforts of his network.

Ray Kaderli’s story is not just about building with hemp; it’s about vision, resilience, and the relentless pursuit of a sustainable future. His approach – balancing economic viability with environmental responsibility – sets a precedent in the sustainable building industry, inspiring a generation of builders and entrepreneurs.


PODCAST # 143 Ray’s Interview on our Podcast The Texas Hemp Show.

From Rosin Roots to Global Growth: The Sweet Sensi Story

Sweet Sensi’s journey began with a passionate vision. Founded by Greg Autry, a pioneer in the rosin industry since its early days in Southern California, Sweet Sensi stands out as one of the first rosin companies globally. Greg’s dedication to creating products true to the plant’s essence, dating back to his early work with bubble hash in the 2000s, marks the brand’s commitment to authenticity and quality.


What sets Sweet Sensi apart in the crowded hemp and cannabis market is its focus on gourmet candy and beverages. Winning numerous cannabis cups for products like chocolates, gumdrops, and tinctures, Sweet Sensi attributes its success to a combination of home-grown hemp, minimal processing extraction methods, and the use of organic ingredients in their self-developed gourmet recipes. Their approach to flavor pairing enhances the cannabis taste rather than masking it, creating a unique sensory experience.


Sweet Sensi’s expertise in regulated cannabis products since California’s prop 215 in 1996 has equipped them with the knowledge to comply with local and state laws meticulously. Their patented process of creating high THC rosin from hemp without chemical manipulation has allowed them to expand legally into more states and countries than other brands.


The process of creating Sweet Sensi’s renowned rosin begins with rigorous testing of hemp plants for cannabinoids and terpenes. Utilizing low-temperature extraction and a heat press designed by Greg Autry, the brand ensures that every chemical compound in the plant is preserved, reflecting their commitment to delivering products that address their consumers’ needs effectively.


Sweet Sensi upholds the highest standards in product quality and safety, adhering to GMP standards and food safety management. With a team well-versed in these protocols, the company conducts comprehensive testing, including full panels, bacterial, and microbial tests, ensuring transparency and reliability.


Sustainability is a cornerstone of Sweet Sensi’s operation. From a water system that reuses nutrient run-off to using solid plant

waste for compost tea, the company is on a mission to become waste-free. Their packaging solutions are environmentally friendly,

emphasizing recycled materials, reusability, and compostability.

Sweet Sensi actively engages with the local community and the broader cannabis industry through events like their

Hemp Harvest Fest and numerous weekend activities. Their educational efforts extend to both retailers and the public,

fostering a well-informed community.

Sweet Sensi is at the forefront of innovation, with recent advancements like a preliminary patent for a water-soluble hash/rosin formula. Despite the regulatory challenges in the Texas market, they maintain a rigorous testing regimen to ensure compliance and product efficacy.

Sweet Sensi is gearing up for an exciting future, with plans including a new retail store on 607 Congress Ave, Austin, offering fresh infused pastries, small batch chocolates, and a cannabis cocktail lounge. Additionally, the brand is set to expand into Europe, underscoring its commitment to growth and innovation in the hemp and cannabis industry.

Sweet Sensi’s journey from its inception to becoming a leader in the hemp and cannabis market is a testament to its dedication to quality, innovation, and community engagement. As they continue to expand and evolve, Sweet Sensi remains a beacon of excellence and authenticity in the ever-growing world of cannabis and hemp.

Contact Information

(844) 385-3297

Grunt Style: A Heroic Legacy of Patriotism and Healing


From the formation of the United States to the ongoing struggles that our veterans face today, Grunt Style embodies a legacy of patriotism, resilience, and unwavering commitment to America’s heroes. Grunt Style is not just a clothing brand – it’s a movement, a testament to the indomitable spirit of America’s military personnel and their families.

Dressing the American Spirit

“Who we are, to us, what you wear is more than just a necessity; it’s about attitude!” As stated on their website, Grunt Style has always been about instilling the fierce, fighting American spirit into everything they produce. With a dedicated team of nearly 400 people, their mission is to design and deliver the most patriotic apparel, ensuring that every American can wear their pride from head to toe.

However, this brand is not just about the clothes. It’s about the ethos – the unyielding commitment to freedom, the love for bacon, whiskey, and everything else that defines America. And as their iconic logo history suggests, each symbol and phrase – from the crossed 1792 Springfield muskets to the motto “This We’ll Defend” – reflects a deep-rooted reverence for America’s rich history and unwavering values.

Beyond Apparel: The Grunt Style Foundation

Founded in 2021, the Grunt Style Foundation takes the brand’s commitment to service members, veterans, and their families a step further. Recognizing the dire mental health challenges that plague the veteran community, this national nonprofit organization offers life-changing resources and experiences. Their core belief is simple yet profound: No veteran should ever be left behind.

Staggering figures underscore the urgency of their mission – in the last 20 years, 30,177 service members lost their lives not in combat but to the agony of suicide. As Tim Jensen, the President of the Grunt Style Foundation, emphasizes, “This is unacceptable.” Hence, the foundation is forging innovative paths, exploring alternative treatments like THC in Cannabis, Psilocybin, DMT, and Ayahuasca to combat PTSD and alleviate the harmful long-term effects of prescription opioids and opiates.

But the foundation’s efforts don’t stop there. Food insecurity, an often-overlooked challenge that military families face, is also at the forefront of their agenda. This Labor Day weekend, the Grunt Style Foundation aims to distribute a whopping 36 tonnes of food to active military members and their families, exemplifying their comprehensive approach to supporting our nation’s heroes.

A Leader with a Vision: Tim Jensen

Tim Jensen is not just a businessman; he’s a trailblazer. The U.S. Marines instilled in him invaluable leadership skills, shaping his journey from a serviceman to the co-owner of Grunt Style and a published author. His book, “Violent but True Bedtime Stories,” and the planned series is a testament to his dedication to preserving and sharing real military stories with a unique, tongue-in-cheek twist.

With Grunt Style’s apparel featured in over 17 retail locations and more than 4,000 wholesale outlets, including giants like Buc-ee’s, Academy, and Cabela’s, Jensen’s leadership has undoubtedly propelled the brand to great heights. Yet, at its core, Grunt Style remains committed to its roots, bolstering a lifestyle that champions patriotism and service.

A Call to Action

As we admire the vibrant, patriotic designs on Grunt Style’s apparel or browse their Instagram page, let’s not forget the deeper mission that drives this brand. Behind each t-shirt and each initiative lies a heartfelt plea – to remember, support, and uplift every American hero who has risked it all for our freedom.

Every American might not be a veteran, but every American can stand by them. Grunt Style reminds us of that duty, urging us all to defend the legacy and well-being of our nation’s bravest.

This We’ll Defend.

DEA’s Stance on Delta-8 THC Derived from CBD:

The DEA’s viewpoint on delta-8 THC derived from CBD has been a topic of debate and concern within the hemp industry. A recently uncovered email provides fresh insights, suggesting that when derived from CBD, delta-8 THC is regarded as a controlled substance by the agency.With the federal legalization of hemp, there’s been a boom in the delta-8 THC market. These products, derived from hemp and its popular extract CBD, have been surrounded by legal challenges, especially as certain state policies aim to restrict its sale. Shane Pennington, a notable attorney, brought to light a 2021 correspondence from Terrence Boos, the DEA Drug & Chemical Evaluation Section Chief. Boos clearly stated, “Transforming CBD into delta-8-THC through chemical reactions renders the delta-8-THC synthetic, hence not protected Under the Agriculture Improvement Act [2018 Farm Bill]. Consequently, such
synthetically derived delta-8-THC becomes a controlled substance.” This information, while not entirely new, provides clarity for those still uncertain about DEA’s
stance on the issue.

Earlier in 2023, at the Supply Chain Conference, Boos also mentioned that DEA considers synthetic cannabinoids as prohibited and shared the agency’s plans to formalize this policy, backed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Interestingly, while delta-8 THC can be naturally found in cannabis, its amounts are minimal. So, if it’s directly extracted from cannabis, it’s legal, as DEA confirmed in 2021. However, most delta-8 THC products in the market are usually from a synthetic process. Pennington, however, raises questions about Boos’s interpretation, particularly around the terms “derivative” and “extract” in the Farm Bill. Alongside attorney Matthew Zorn, Pennington argues that the intention behind the Farm Bill was perhaps to allow semi-synthetic hemp derivatives, like delta-8 THC. They further highlighted how DEA’s historical actions and language used in legal texts, including the Farm Bill, seem to challenge the agency’s current stance on delta-8 THC. Their position got a boost when a federal appeals court ruled that delta-8 THC is exempt from control as per current statute, emphasizing its allowance of hemp derivatives. Yet, Pennington and Zorn remind us that understanding the DEA’s viewpoint is crucial. As it stands, unless contested by courts or Congress, the agency’s perspective holds significant weight.

Despite the DEA’s consistent statements on delta-8 THC, its market remains robust. Although some states have prohibited these products, on the federal level, the FDA has mostly issued warnings to specific companies deemed problematic. In related updates, the DEA confirmed in 2020 the removal of the CBD medication Epidiolex from the Controlled Substances Act’s Schedule V, effectively unscheduling it. DEA Administrator Anne Milgram recently expressed her willingness to consider an evaluation from HHS on marijuana, following President Joe Biden’s directive last year. There was a mention of a letter from the president regarding this, but its existence remains unconfirmed as of now.

“The Texas THC Challenge: Top 10 THC Beverages in the Lone Star State”

This wasn’t a rushed tasting, but an exploration that spanned three hours. The students were provided with cheese, meats, and crackers as palate cleansers, allowing them to experience the>full spectrum of each drink’s profile before moving on to the next one. Each beverage was rated on four criteria: taste, smell, the presentation of the liquid itself, and the brand’s presentation. Taste and smell are, of course, the primary factors in any beverage’s appeal. But we also recognized that the visual appeal of a beverage – its color, consistency, and even the design of its packaging – can significantly impact a consumer’s overall experience. Once the blind tasting and scoring were completed, the brands were revealed, and the students could reflect on the impact of branding on their overall perception and experience. Here were the results…

1st Place – THC Lemonade (Blue Raspberry) by DANKK: A non-carbonated liquid sensation bursting with potent lemon aroma and the nostalgic taste of blue raspberry lemonade. The drink’s slight hint of cannabis flavor and a juice-like consistency with lemon pulp made it a favorite, securing a perfect score. A potent concoction containing 50 mg of hemp-derived Delta 9 THC, the THC Lemonade stood proud at the top of the ranking.

2nd Place – Lemonade by Smilyn: This carbonated beverage features a delightful blend of lemon and lime flavors, with a dash of sweetness and a hint of menthol aftertaste. Its cloud-like appearance similar to Smirnoff Ice and a simple can design mirrored its straightforward Californian roots. With 50 mg of Delta 8, it received a well-deserved second place.

3rd Place – Houston Juice: This ‘Zen, Focus, and Caffeinated THC Drank,’ packs a punch with 12mg of Hemp-Derived THC. Its sour Skittles taste and peachy aroma, coupled with a lively can design boasting Texas’s biggest city, had the students raving. This carbonated sensation won unanimous acclaim, earning a 5/5.

4th Place – Honey Suckle’s Nectar Seltzer (Strawberry Lemonade): Scoring a 3/5, this carbonated refresher emanates a berry-like smell, with a sparkling berry water taste and a hint of citrus. Its flavor profile, despite not aligning perfectly with its name, made a positive impression. The Strawberry Lemonade contains 5mg of hemp-derived Delta 9.

5th Place – F8ED’s Cosmic Blast: With a score of 3/5, the non-carbonated drink brings forth an
artificial orange flavor and smell. The vibrant orange color of the liquid matches the bottle’s
elaborate decoration, housing 25mg of Delta 8 THC within.

6th Place – Third Coast, Beach Break (Watermellow): A 2/5 rating reflected the unexpected blend of cucumber and melon taste and smell. Its beachy summer vibe can design encloses 5mg of Hemp Derived Delta 9 THC, making it a carbonated treat for the taste buds.

7th Place – Howdy, Paloma: Sporting a picturesque can featuring a bronco-riding cowboy, this carbonated delight, infused with 2.5mg of Hemp Derived Delta 9 THC, offered a genuine orange flavor. One student, hailing from the Valley, Texas, fondly commented that it tasted like home.

8th Place – Howdy, Ranch Water: Another from the Howdy stables, this carbonated drink also featured the cowboy-bronco logo on a green can. Despite its overwhelming smell, the bitter-lemon taste was appreciated by a student from the Valley. However, it gathered a modest rating of 1/5. 9th Place – “Lil Bit” by 8th Wonder (Canna-Berry flavor): The can, although described as bland,contained a carbonated liquid that unleashed an artificial berry aroma and wild berry taste. This Low-Dose THC Seltzer, with 2mg of hemp-derived Delta 9 THC, scored 1/5.

10th Place -Tejas Tonic: This carbonated, lime-centric drink, which garnered a 0/5 rating, stole the show with its can design. The testers agreed that while the beverage wasn’t unpleasant, it would better serve as a mixer. Three students appreciated the distinct taste of cannabis, aligning with the ‘terpene boosted’ advertisement on the can, containing 5mg of Hemp Derived Delta 9 THC.

Texas, with its expanding THC-infused beverage industry, is setting trends that other states might soon follow. These beverages, their unique flavors, and vibrant packaging are reflective of Texas’s dynamic culture, leaving consumers eagerly anticipating the next innovation.

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