Skip to main content

Author: shayda Torabi

5 Lessons I’ve Learned in 5 Years in Texas Hemp

August 2023 marked 5 years of RESTART, the hemp based retail cannabis brand I own and operate with my two sisters in Central Austin (in addition to hosting the To Be Blunt podcast).

We hold one of the states original hemp licenses in what has grown to become a sea of operators ranging from dispensaries to wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers, cultivators, labs and processors. 

We’ve navigated through two legislative sessions and countless other industry lawsuits like the smokable hemp ban that was imposed last summer, not to mention the ongoing attack on Delta 8 THC.

Since 2020 we’ve been executive board members with the Texas Hemp Coalition, which has enabled us to advocate and influence policy – In fact I just made my second trip back from D.C. where we got to meet with key federal stakeholders regarding pressing issues impacting hemp operators and retailers like myself. 

© David Brendan Hall /

And we lead by example and focus heavily on educating our team so that we can pass that education onto our customers.

I’m super proud of what we’ve accomplished, and as a native Texan, still a bit in disbelief that we have the opportunity to work in this industry in my home state.

It does come with it’s set of challenges from marketing, and banking, to compliance, but it’s also been rewarding pioneering in the industry and helping pave a way for this new market to exist. 

All I can hope is that the next five live up to the first five. 

So in honor of that, here are five lesson’s I’ve learned in five years in Texas Hemp:

  1. Always Have a Backup Plan – Whether it’s a backup payment processor or a backup plan for packaging because your shipment of pop tops got held at customs, you must always be prepared due to unforeseen circumstances. Running a business is hard, but running a business in hemp/cannabis is like driving to a destination without GPS. You may generally know the direction you are going from A to B, but you have no idea what road closures or detours may be up ahead so you have to be prepared for anything to happen. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, so be prepared and keep rolling with the punches and probably have a backup plan for your back up plan just in case.
  1. Evolve or Die – Things move fast, like super sonic. From science expanding, to laws changing, what we know about the boundaries of this industry are constantly evolving and to stay in the game you have to keep moving. When we first entered the marketplace in 2018 the primary product we were selling was CBD sublingual oils, which is a complete 180 to what my top product category is in 2023 (it’s THC edibles in case you’re wondering.) Plus, here we are five years later and we have a plethora of cannabinoids to choose from in addition to CBD like THC, CBG, CBN, and THCV. Of course, this could all change on the flip of a dime, which is reinforcing my motto to always have a backup plan and keep evolving!
  2. Don’t Believe The Headlines – In the spirit of our industry being so knew, there is going to be a lot of chatter and hype, and in reality misinformation. It’s always served me well to keep an open mindset and to pay attention to as much perspective as possible. As a Texas operator, what is going on in Texas is extremely personal to me, but other states looking in might not be able to relate to what’s going on and vice versa. We have an opportunity to make a real impact with this plant, but we have a lot of stigma to work through both inside and outside of the general hemp and cannabis community. Because this is a moving target the information is updating constantly so paying attention to the fine details and not getting caught up in headlines is key.
  3. Stay Curious – To succeed you must become a sponge! Talk to as many people as you can and learn as much as you can about the laws, the plant, the science, and the market. Talk to your peers, talk to your operators, get involved, watch the trends, and then apply that to your own business or brand. Putting on the To Be Blunt podcast over these last three years has enabled me to stay in tune with what is going on nationally while also allowing me to have a platform to share realtime updates about our market here in Texas. Additionally organizations like the Texas Hemp Coalition are invaluable for connecting key stakeholders together so that the rising tide can lift all boats. It’s been great to meet other operators and have a community of peers that are also going through the same things which feels empowering to know we’re not alone.

  4. Think Like a Consumer – At the end of the day, this industry is becoming a CPG (consumer packaged goods) industry and I put emphasis on the “consumer” part. The customer comes first, and if you’re smart, you’d actually talk to your customers and get their feedback. Especially here in Texas where, for example, a lot of our community is unaware of variances between Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC which causes us to have to overly educate and think through their challenges when engaging with these products. We should also take into consideration all the aforementioned information included in points 1-4 when it comes to bringing these consumer packaged goods to market. There is a legal landscape, a regulatory landscape, quality assurance and safety concerns, as well as efficacy that the consumer is seeking that all need to be taken into consideration if you want to succeed not only today but tomorrow too.

So the final piece of advice is to now figure out what that looks like for you, your brand, your business and then implement a plan to take the next best step forward to help you better navigate and understand the playing field.

Maybe that’s joining an advocacy group like the Texas Hemp Coalition, or pressing play on one of my many free To Be Blunt episodes which you can tune into Monday’s at

Whatever you do, don’t take your foot off the gas!

The Convergence, Overlap, and Confusion of the terms Hemp and Marijuana

I recently came across a marijuana brand from California promote they are now launching a hemp line and it made me perk up because a new trend is emerging which I’ll unpack for you here.

When hemp became federally legalized in 2018 it specifically carved out legislation legalizing anything less than .3% Delta 9 THC so long as it was hemp derived to be legal across all 50 states.

This legislation was specifically addressing hemp, leaving marijuana as anything classified as over that .3% Delta 9 THC threshold a Schedule 1 substance and restricted to a state by state framework of laws.

Now with that information what exactly is hemp? Sure you’ve heard of hemp seeds, or using the stock for fiber. But is it that much different than marijuana? Doesn’t CBD exist in both, same for THC?

Without getting too much into the weeds of the conversation, because it really can be a long unraveling rather quickly. I want to paint a picture of what is happening and speculate where I think things are going to head.

Originally with the passing of the farm bill, you had regulated states like California selling marijuana products, and then in states like here in Texas where we dont have regulated marijuana, you saw the emergence of hemp products.

Shayda Torabi

When we first entered the market with RESTART, we were only selling CBD, so at that time back in 2018/2019, there was more or less a clearly defined lane between the two sides.

But I want to bring you back to that dividing line, specifically it is quantified as the total amount of THC present, because that is what qualifies something as hemp which can be federally legal, or marijuana which is only legal within the specific state in which it is legalized within. 

Of course, since those early years we’ve seen a rapid evolution in not only cannabinoid discovery but in the productization of those cannabinoids.

So now we’re in 2023, and we clearly have begun to see these lines blur, especially with the introduction of cannabinoids like Delta 8 THC as well as hemp derived Delta 9 THC. So long as the Delta 9 content is less than .3% on a dry weight basis, it is within the bounds of the law, right?

A CBD Pre-Roll burnt.

However, a question I keep butting up against is who is going to regulate these cannabinoids?

Does what we’re seeing being sold as hemp actually qualify as regulated marijuana? Perhaps not by the definition, but by the intention of the product?

Should we get rid of the names “hemp” and “marijuana” altogether and evolve towards a broad encompassing term like cannabis? Or what about consumable cannabinoids compared to agricultural hemp?

I think what we’re witnessing which initially was a division from regulated marijuana markets about the reputation of hemp is now an acknowledgment about how they can operate without the boundaries and restrictions of these regulated programs where their marijuana can’t cross state lines like their hemp product lines can. 

And with the protection of hemp from a legal perspective, it’s opening up a conversation for marijuana brands struggling to navigate the regulated market due to poor regulation and taxation to find relief within the confines of the farm bill to execute with more runway. 

When you look at what could come next, you need to pay attention to the legalities always. 

Despite hemp being federally legal, you now have states cracking down on specific language relating to some of these cannabinoids. For example, Colorado has made the production and sale of Delta 8 THC illegal. 

So this isn’t to say that there is a free pass if you simply make and market your products as hemp.

However, I think the lines are becoming even more blurred not only for lawmakers, but certainly for operators and maybe that’s to the consumers benefit.

I’m curious what you think about this?

To me all regulated marijuana brands aside from cultivators could get in on this seemingly new revelation and have their products sold without boundaries and yet it also creates a whole other diversion from the plant and reintroduces us to the world of chemically derived cannabinoids.

We’re just scratching the surface, but to continue the conversation join me on

When Will Cannabis Be Recreational in Texas?

A popular question that comes up in my retail (RESTART CBD) is when will Texas recreationally legalize cannabis? And with the 88th legislative session currently in session as of January 10th, 2023, a good reminder is that, in Texas, bills become law during legislative session. 

PLEASE NOTE: Recreational legalization is also referred to as “Adult Use”.

So now is a really good time to break down the aforementioned question with timing and history in consideration.

Let’s begin by defining the word “legalize”- according to Oxford Languages it is to “make (something that was previously illegal) permissible by law.” 

Texas is one of the more slow moving states on Cannabis because of the Conservative Leadership in State Government.

The whole reason we’re advocating for cannabis legalization in Texas is because starting in 1915, El Paso was the first US city to individually restrict cannabis. It would go through further restrictions up until the possession of cannabis was banned statewide in 1931. And until 1973 it would remain classified as a narcotic with the possibility of life sentences imposed for possession of small amounts. 

In June 1973, House Bill 447 was signed into law to significantly reduce penalties for cannabis offenses. Prior to its passage Texas had the harshest cannabis laws of any state in the nation, with possession of any amount classified as a felony offense punishable by two years to life in prison. With the passage of the bill, possession of up to two ounces was reduced to a class B misdemeanor, punishable by a $1000 fine and prison sentence of no more than 180 days. 

Fast forward to June 2015 when Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 339 – the Texas Compassionate Use Act (TCUP) – to allow the use of low-THC cannabis oil (less than 0.5% THC) for the treatment of epilepsy. (For those of you who may be unaware, TCUP is our states medical marijuana program.)

Then in June 2019 House Bill 1325 was also signed into law by Governor Abbott to legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp (cannabis containing less than 0.3% THC). This bill also legalized possession and sale of hemp-derived CBD products without need for a doctor’s approval as compared to the TCUP program. 

Now let’s pause right there, because for the last four years some interesting things have shifted for TCUP and for hemp in Texas. During the 2021 87th legislative session, we saw the TCUP program expand to 1% THC and added conditions including all forms of cancer and PTSD. And in the hemp, the Texas Supreme Court upheld the ban on the manufacturing and processing (but not sale) of smokable hemp in June 2022.

Getting back to the question at hand, when can we expect to see cannabis recreationally legalized in Texas? Personally speaking, I think you have to take into consideration Texas’ timeline. We meet every two years as a state, and TCUP is capped at 1% right now amongst other setbacks the program has. I anticipate the TCUP program will try to expand yet again this legislative session but how much is yet to be determined, so more to come at the end of May when session ends.

I also encourage you to look into the differences between a medical marijuana program (our current version is TCUP) and adult use recreation. Medical marijuana programs require a doctor sign off to essentially to qualify you into the program. Compared to adult use recreational where it is more akin to purchasing alcohol once you are of legal age.

The variations of the program types are what we’re fundamentally discussing, and to see what and when Texas might make her move, we should look to some other states programs for examples of what to expect.

Missouri is a great example of a shorter timeline between medical- which was legalized in 2018, and adult use recreation- which was legalized in 2022, just four years later. Or compare that to Illinois who legalized medical in 2014 and adult use in 2020, so six years later.

Now on the other end, you have states like Arizona who legalized medical in 2010 and it took them a decade to legalize adult use recreation in 2020. Or another Texas neighbor, New Mexico legalized adult use recreation in 2022, and that was after 15 years of medical which was legalized in 2007. 

The main takeaway is it is going to take time to go from a mature, key word mature, medical marijuana program to an adult use recreational program. And considering Texas meets every two years, and our current TCUP/Medical marijuana program is capped at 1% and there are other limitations to their program, I anticipate that getting sorted out in the next two to six years in legislation before you begin to see recreational legalization on the horizon.

Another major plot twist to throw into all of this is the fact that during this time, hemp became federally legal and state legal allowing for up to .3% Delta 9 THC on a dry weight basis. Almost all these mature marijuana states like Colorado, California, and Oregon legalized medical, then adult use, then hemp. But in Texas we have a different call to order. We’re slowly expanding medical into a mature program, then hemp became legalized, and we’re still advocating for adult use.

I’m not going to pretend like I know how things are going to go in Texas, but I’m paying attention to the market across our the United States and paying attention to Texas politics. It’s going to be an exciting Texas Legislative session, and I hope you’ll be following along. I’m a part of an organization called the Texas Hemp Coalition, they are going to be leading a lot of advocacy and policy work for the hemp industry this session, so if you want to get more involved please check them out. Otherwise conversations like this can always be found at

If Texas Legalized Adult Use Cannabis Tomorrow, Who Would Get a License?

Coming off of an exciting Texas Hemp Summit, I can’t help but be a voice of reason in the room. It was awesome to see so much support and interest in the burgeoning hemp industry here in the lone star state. We got to hear from Texas AG Commissioner Sid Miller and had leaders in hemp fly in from across the United States to weigh in on the future of hemp, and really cannabis, in Texas.

As a CBD retail operator since 2018 myself, I am no stranger to the ever-moving landscape here. From newly discovered cannabinoids hitting the market like CBC and THCV, to the emerging market of chemically derived cannabinoids like hemp-derived delta 9 THC. We’ve faced lawsuits as a state, most recently losing the manufacturing and processing of smokable hemp products in Texas. And we’ve seen the state slowly introduce a medical marijuana program, which to me, is the domino that needs to fall before we see any type of adult use market here in Texas.

Which is exactly where I want to dive in. If Texas legalized adult-use cannabis tomorrow, who would get a license? How many licenses would they issue? What would a license cost? And if full plant access was granted, what would that do to the thousands of CBD retailers operating in Texas alone?

These are questions not meant to intimidate you, but rather to prepare you.

I spend a lot of time studying this market, as I mentioned I have skin in the game and want to ensure I’m doing my due diligence to take the best next step forward. But I also, through my podcast To Be Blunt, have ongoing conversations with industry leaders across the United States and even globally, deciphering their failures and successes in hopes of gathering enough intel to speculate what and when Texas might make her move.

I think a good indication is to look at where medical marijuana is currently at in Texas. For those who may be unaware, there are three licenses in circulation under the Texas Compassionate Use Program (TCUP), with only two in operation. The application to even apply for a dispensing organization license is $7,356 and the license fee is $488,520 for a two-year period. That is just to get your license to operate, not counting all the operational costs, etc. On top of that, the TCUP license requires vertical integration meaning you have to grow, extract, process, manufacture, distribute, and sell. 

So I ask you, who has the funds and assets to qualify for a TCUP license? And out of the thousands of operators currently selling CBD and hemp-derived cannabinoid products, who is going to qualify for one of the limited available licenses under the current program and rules?

Look, I am hopeful like the rest of you, but I also live in reality, and to ignore these facts is to willingly walk into a wall.

I recently saw the Texas DPS announce they were considering opening up TCUP licenses, which would be a step in the direction towards adult use recreation because I believe we need a more advanced Medical Marijuana/ TCUP program before you see adult use/ recreation legalized in Texas.

TCUP is currently limited to a 1% THC cap, and the broadest qualifying condition is PTSD as expanded during the 87th Texas Legislative session. Our 88th legislative session kicks off in January 2022 and I anticipate whatever movement we get will be an indication of how much that program will advance, leading us to infer the progression of the legalization of cannabis in the state.

On top of all of this, hemp is currently capped at .3% Delta 9 THC on a dry weight basis, the language of “dry weight basis” has made a massive loophole not just for Texas hemp brands but really nationally we’re now seeing a wave of hemp derived delta 9 THC hit the market.

A rolled marijuana joint half burnt, isolated on white.

So from my perspective, on one hand, we already have legalization of THC in Texas to some extent, and on the other hand, how in the hell does this all get regulated, and who will it affect?

Some speculate Delta 8 and hemp-derived Delta 9 will be taken away, others argue how can they “put the cat back in the bag” so to speak. And personally, I’m not really sure what this legislative session will hold, but I can tell you I’m gonna roll up my sleeves and advocate and influence policy however I can.

But don’t say I didn’t warn you! 

New episodes of To Be Blunt air every Monday at

Texas Hemp Summit

Texas Hemp Coalition, the premier advocacy group for the hemp industry in Texas, is hosting its inaugural B2B industry event, The Texas Hemp Summit, this November 11-12, 2022 at the Texas A&M Agrilife Center in College Station.

The event is poised to bring together B2B industry leaders from all across Texas and beyond to discuss farming, processing, cannabinoids, fiber, and retail topics concerning hemp operators through educational conversations and presentations.

The goal of the summit is to address trending issues that are directly impacting our state’s hemp operators, as well as be a learning opportunity for those looking to get into the industry and scale.

Anyone who is interested in getting more involved in the industry, launching a brand, scaling their business, or who may be seeking job opportunities is encouraged to attend.

During these two days, the Texas Hemp Summit will pack keynote presentations, panel discussions, as well as networking opportunities for attendees to get plugged into the most pressing subjects relevant to their passions, and business interests.

Confirmed speakers are:

  • Keynote with the Texas Department of Agriculture, Sid Miller
  • A legal fireside chat with Lisa Pittman of Pittman Legal and Cameron Field of Michael Best
  • Overview of Texas A&M University Hemp field research with Dr. Russell Jessup

And more to be confirmed, so check the website for more details.

The event has industry support from: Flex Payment Solutions, Shimadzu, Tejas Hemp, Caprock Family Farms, Sweet Sensi, Drops of Life, Boveda, Agilent, Hemp Industries Association, Hemp Building Ventures, Michael Best, Haus of Jayne, and more who will also be in attendance to meet you and answer your questions in person during the summit.

Tickets are on sale now for $110 at the Early Bird rate until October 24th, 2022 when they will increase in price, and the event is FREE to all students with valid student ID.

To learn more about the event, and purchase tickets visit:

If you would like to explore membership opportunities, the Texas Hemp Coalition holds regular meetings to discuss pressing topics and would love to invite you to join us as an official member to help champion and advocate for hemp in Texas

The Future of Chemically Derived Cannabinoids

Every now and then a customer walks into my CBD store, RESTART CBD, and asks for a product or cannabinoid that we don’t currently sell. And as a business owner, I take the ownership of filtering through all the requests we get and ultimately deciding on what product to put on the shelf. That paired with tracking industry trends, requires businesses to stay on top of consumer demands.

While consumers ask and demand, that doesn’t always necessarily mean that businesses need to deliver. It’s why Walmart and Target both exist, in reality, they sell similar products, but they also have two different target demographics.

So with that information in mind, I am constantly filtering what customers are looking for and balancing that with what I’m interested in and willing to sell.

For example, we get asked from time to time if we sell Kratom, which we do not at my store. My brand focuses on selling high-quality cannabinoids vs a more broad smoke shop store type approach. We can’t be everything to everybody, and I think that’s an important piece of discernment for today’s story.

On the other hand, we get asked for products like HHC and THC-P, which are naturally occurring cannabinoids but are more mysterious with less known information about the long-term effects.

It’s interesting because in our industry there are a dozen or so cannabinoids on the market, but the cannabis plant has over 100 different phytocannabinoid compounds and just because we don’t know enough about something doesn’t mean we should demonize it, does it?

This takes me back to when Delta 8 THC hit the market back in 2019, we didn’t know enough about it and everyone was reluctant to introduce products to the market. But a few years later, not that we aren’t still facing some of the same battles, there is more adoption and acceptance of the minor cannabinoid.

So as a brand, how do you determine what is the best product to put on the shelf? And even more critically to consider is what is the quality of the product you are looking to put on the shelf because 80% of something is different than 90% of something, etc.

We now see the emergence of chemically derived cannabinoids. This does get confusing because even though the cannabinoid is naturally occurring like CBN, for example, there is a whole market emerging for chemically creating and synthesizing these cannabinoids.

And thanks to the chemistry you can create a lot of cannabinoids with a lot more stability than when produced naturally, which is an integral part of repeatability for a consumer.

Is it right, is it wrong?

I understand the concern from within the industry, from the purists, the full plant people, and the cultivators, struggling with this recent shift in the market.

I remember having a conversation with a friend who is cultivating hemp here in Texas and he was asking if as a retailer I sell more hemp flower vs Delta 8 flower, and the reality is consumers want the Delta 8 experience.

My advice to the cultivator was to get creative and pay attention to where the market is going if he wants to move his products because consumers are driving the demands.

I also look at the fragility of our industry, without proper avenues for operation we’re left to interpreting the law and getting creative with what some would call loopholes.

I don’t fully think cannabinoids like Delta 8 THC or HHC are outright loopholes, but I do believe that we have yet to bust the door wide open and are just getting a crack at what is to come.

Ultimately we have a choice, as operators, as consumers, as an industry and until we can look at the whole picture instead of just one frame at a time, we’re neglecting the realities and all I’m trying to do is to get us to be on the same page.

A regroup if you will. Texas is heading into our next legislative session in 2023 and the smokable hemp ban just got reinstated for manufacturing and processing.

Will we go another year introducing more minor cannabinoids? We flinch at the idea of chemically synthesized Delta 8 but what about nonpsychoactive cannabinoids like CBN? Where does the line get drawn? And what is this going to do to cultivation of you can produce everything stably in a lab?

I don’t have a definitive answer on what is going to happen or can even speculate on what could happen. Especially with so much up in the air still with the Delta 8 lawsuit still open and an upcoming legislative session.

But as always, I encourage the continuation of this discussion and invite you to tune into my recent episode with Tyler Roach of Colorado Chromatography, one of the leading manufacturers of HHC and CBN amongst other cannabinoids. We dive into the future of chemically creating cannabinoids and what impact that will have on our industry, you can listen at

Cannabis Marketing Business

I was recently handed a box of about 24 unlabeled products in bags and asked to review the quality and effectiveness of said products, which varied from topical’s and oils to edibles.

This wasn’t the first time I had been asked to judge something in the cannabis industry, in fact, I’ve participated as a judge in a handful of national competitions which, I’ll admit, have all respectively had their faults.

Look, I’m not here to pick on this one example, it’s just the most recent one in a series of examples, but rather use it as a jumping-off point for what I would have loved to see happen instead, and encourage how we as an industry should be leaders instead of followers.

For the record, I’m pretty sure there isn’t a standard manual on how to run an effective cannabis event. If you could see me now, I’m half smirking as I write this because I know (from interviewing hundreds of cannabis entrepreneurs all over the world for my podcast, To Be Blunt) just how inconsistent the laws and regulations are in our industry in general, let alone the nuanced world of events.

But as nuanced as it is, it is a massive opportunity for everyone involved. And it comes down to implementing best practices that put safety and education at the forefront.

Prior to founding RESTART CBD in 2018, I used to work in corporate technology, but specifically, I was an event and brand manager for about 6 years. So I will also go out on a limb and say I know pretty well firsthand the benefit of events from both a brand perspective and also as a consumer who has attended hundreds of events in my lifetime.

I’m not here to say don’t go to events or don’t waste your time participating in them, events are great for exposure and connecting directly with your target audiences. Instead, I want to reflect on how we as an industry can put our best foot forward and lead by example.

If you check out the podcast, I encourage you to listen to episode 96 with Tim and Taylor Blake who are the founders and producers of The Emerald Cup, the largest cannabis competition in the world. THE WORLD. Yes, they’ve been producing this event since 2003, and a lot has changed since then which we get into more detail in the episode, but one of the questions I had for them was around the competition aspect of their event.

On one end, the winners of The Emerald Cup go on to experience a huge uptick in their business. Winning this particular competition has bragging rights that go on into infinity, so from a brand marketing perspective, it absolutely benefits brands to compete because winning can do wonders for your business.

On the other hand, you have the operations of the event to navigate. As an event producer, how are you capturing these entries, what do you ask for to gauge quality assurance, and what all goes into your judging process to guarantee you’re evaluating these brands properly?

This was the big aha for me personally at least, while it’s all fun and games to do events and participate in competitions, at the end of the day, all these products, every single one of them are being sold to a consumer. How they’re packaged, how they’re labeled, what COAs are attached, and how they make someone feel are all pieces of determining the “quality and effectiveness”. They are consumer packaged goods after all, and that point is where I continually get hung up on from my own personal experiences with cannabis events and competitions.

You see, I was taken aback at the unmarked products in blank bags. I understood the intention was for blind judging, but as someone who promotes frequently to my own customers to read labels, ingredients, and packaging, to be presented with absolutely none of that information didn’t settle well (and yes I did share this feedback directly, and ultimately decided not to participate until better parameters were set in place.)

Aside from handling it directly, It was equally important to talk about it publicly since this isn’t about one person in particular, but about all of us as a community setting standards and standing by them.

In an industry where 5mg vs 10mg of a particular cannabinoid can produce a different effect, it is extremely important for me to emphasize to the brands as well as consumers reading this that integrity and efficacy are absolutely essential in establishing credibility for our industry.

In previous events I’ve judged, I remember being shocked to see products labeled with QR codes that 404’d, which as a legally licensed brand operating in Texas Hemp is a requirement to have functioning on your packaging. To me, what you put on your label is step one of building quality assurance with the consumer market, and yet here were brands, going after an award with basic information lacking. I genuinely felt and feel bad for consumers who are left in the dark by these brands and their products.

Yes, there are certainly bad actors out to make a quick buck, and I always encourage the buyer to be aware. But I also sincerely believe that there are great Texas cannabis operators who believe in this plant and are looking for best practices, so I hope you hear the heart of my message.

When we avoid or don’t address these discrepancies they continue to pile up, I want to address them so we can improve together. I want to see brands and events thrive, but I also want to remember who we’re in business for at the end of the day, and that is for the consumer.

So how we show up, whether it is on a label, or at an event, really can improve the industry by providing necessary information for consumers to make educated decisions on what they are putting in their bodies.

Listening to my episode with The Emerald Cup on To Be Blunt has a lot of great insight that we can all learn from as we work together to professionalize cannabis for consumer consumption.