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Author: texashempreporter

Testimony to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Comments on Proposed Rule Review Chapter 300

As the publisher of the Texas Hemp Reporter, I am honored to offer my testimony regarding the pivotal role our publication has played in advancing the understanding and development of the hemp industry in our state. Over the past four years, our comprehensive coverage has spanned across various media platforms, including our magazine, news website, and podcast, all dedicated to the thriving $25+ billion hemp industry.
Beyond our professional endeavors, the impact of hemp products hits close to home for my family. My wife, Jennifer, who battles Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis, relies on these products to alleviate swelling and inflammation. Additionally, my mother, Linda, found relief during her battle with lung cancer in 2020 and 2021, using CBD products as a complementary treatment alongside radiation and chemotherapy. Today, she stands cancer-free, a testament to the potential of hemp-derived remedies.
Throughout our journey, our business has served as an educational resource for farmers, entrepreneurs, and the general public, disseminating valuable information on hemp products for four years. We have distributed 350,000 copies of the Texas Hemp Reporter magazine across 26 issues, reaching communities in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, McAllen, Lubbock, Midland, and numerous smaller towns across central Texas. Furthermore, our podcast has aired on prominent radio stations such as ESPN and KLBJ, becoming a rare voice in terrestrial radio discussions on hemp-related topics in Texas.
Our efforts have not only informed but also influenced cultural conversations. We have conducted interviews with celebrities, lawmakers, agricultural commissioners, congressmen, industry leaders, and legal experts, shedding light on the burgeoning hemp sector. Our magazine has found its way into over 1,000 CBD stores and smoke shops, including major retailers like HEB, Randalls, and Whole Foods in central Texas.
While acknowledging the potential for improvement in Texas’ hemp and cannabis programs, it is imperative to recognize the state’s leadership alongside Tennessee and North Carolina in this industry. Texas has established a robust hemp program, paving the way for economic growth and job creation, supporting not only my family but also over 50,000 Texans employed in this dynamic field.
In conclusion, we express gratitude for the opportunity to contribute to the review of Chapter 300 and commend your commitment to exploring the vast potential of hemp. As journalists and media professionals, we take pride in our role in covering this topic and showcasing the remarkable benefits that this plant offers to our communities.
Thank you for your attention.
Sincerely,
Russell Dowden
Publisher, Texas Hemp Reporter

The New Hemp Industry Landscape; More than Moving Pounds

From Texas to Maine, California to Florida, it’s nearly impossible to walk into a retail, grocery, or convenience store without seeing a THC-infused beverage, hemp-derived gummies, or CBD oil.

 

What was once known as modern-day snake oil, CBD, and hemp in general, is here to stay. In today’s modern world, consumers are able to access THC and other cannabinoids more easily than ever before. Even expanding to wellness shops on every corner, with hemp flower sales in storefronts that aren’t just legal dispensaries.

 

Of course, what consumers don’t know is what it takes behind the scenes to navigate a complex hemp supply chain system to offer quality, safe hemp products to consume.

 

“Literally, everyone has pounds,” explains Justin Sandone, co-founder of Elevated Trading “Store owners are getting approached, all day every day, by every Joe Blow that has a friend with a farm.”

 

In such a burgeoning industry, you wouldn’t expect retailers to have to navigate the wild, wild west of hemp buyers. From those who bait and switch on quality products, leaving their customers hanging. Or, being unreachable when shipping issues arise instead of getting the type of support they need to succeed.

 

In an oversaturated market, it’s easy for retailers to get swindled by what looks like high profit margins, only to hurt their business even more by selling poor-quality flower, to potentially longtime, loyal customers.

 

An unfortunate fact that lends itself to the unprofessionalism of the current market. Fortunately, industry leaders like brothers Justin and Cody Sandone are taking it upon themselves to repair the broken hemp supply chain and breathe a level of professionalism into a market that so desperately needs it. Working behind the scenes to build farm-to-retail relationships that support quality, consistency, and reliable products reaching the shelves.

 

What’s Happening in Hemp

 

Since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation, processing, and sales of hemp-derived products, the market has been flourishing – frantically. Regardless of the global hemp industry commanding $1.8 billion in sales in 2023, it’s an industry that is highly unregulated due to a lack of infrastructure.

 

Leaving retailers, who are responsible for distributing the industry’s main commodity, without much guidance or education on how to do so safely, legally, and, of course, profitably.

 

“There’s no good roadmap; there’s not a lot of information for retailers to know how to succeed,” Sandone explains, “Like, how to vet these people, how to vet these products, how to know whether they’re from licensed hemp farms or not, to maintain compliance and the legalities around having these products in your store.”

 

And leaving consumers without retailers to rely on for consistent, reliable, quality products. That’s why two retail pioneers and consumers themselves, set out to bridge the gap between farms producing quality flower, and retailers distributing it.

Two Brothers, One Goal

 

Elevated Trading co-founders Cody and Justin Sandone were no strangers to the wholesale and retail worlds when they started Elevated Trading.

 

“We had an electronic cigarette store and started seeing CBD come on. Once we started to see flower come on to the market, it became very evident, very quickly, how broken the supply chain was – it was hard to get good suppliers, ” says Sandone.

 

The brothers were also no strangers to the hemp industry after investing in a hemp farm located in Oregon. Only to be thrown into the thick of the market, needing to move 1,000 pounds of flower to recoup their investment, quickly thereafter.

 

With that experience in their pocket, they set out to create the best buying experience they could for the retailers they related to, with a few core values they related to even more. Like one value, “create raving fans” that they’re already clocking success with, serving thousands of retail stores across the US.

 

“We’re not here to be in the spotlight. We’re here to support our customers,” Sandone points out, “We’re here to put their brand in the spotlight by offering the best products we can at the right price point for them to be in line in the market and deliver a high value, fair price product to the customer. ”

 

Today, Elevated Trading does just that by sticking to their expertise in sourcing premium THCA flower, while supporting their retail customers with the network they’ve built over the years.

 

“We have a background in retail. We get it. We understand what consumers are looking for, and we know what it’s like to run a retail business. So working together to help round out their product set—the right pieces for their store, at the right price points where they can be competitive—that’s what we do,” affirms Sandone.

Bridging the Farm to Retail Gap

 

Where the hemp industry has especially struggled is building connections between the farms growing the hemp and the retailers selling it. Leaving farmers struggling to know what retailers are seeking and leaving retailers struggling to find a reliable, compliant source for product.

 

As soon as this gap became glaringly obvious to the retail pros, the Sandones, they knew they had the knowledge, network, and drive to fix it.

 

“It was a broken chain. So we saw an opportunity to come into it on the wholesale side, with an understanding of how to operate a business that’s focused on customer service and build something that could bridge the gap between farms and retailers to create the best buying experience possible.”

 

For consumers included. Over the years, Elevated Trading has helped bring thousands of products to the shelves, supporting large scale retail operations with reach across the nation.

 

“Behind the scenes, Cody and I work very closely with the farms we’re partnered with. We’re constantly bridging the gap between retailers and farms, with conversations like, ‘Hey, a lot of retailers are looking for this strain.’ Or, ‘retailers are looking for this indoor flower’, Sandone continues.

 

“We’re making sure those lines of communication are open.”

 

Changing the landscape of wholesale hemp

As we’ve seen in history, it only takes one or two players to shape the way an industry operates. Until now, the hemp industry has lacked a sense of professionalism that the Sandones are seeking to breathe back into the market.

 

In an industry where there are still “tons of brokers out there, just selling material they don’t own yet, promising the moon and not being able to deliver,” Sandone describes, Elevated Trading’s operations were specifically designed to operate differently.

 

“It’s not enough to have a satisfied customer. We want our customers to be so happy and so thrilled to be working with us – they can’t wait to tell someone else and that drives everything we do in our company,” continues Sandone.

 

A mission that’s glaringly obvious for any first-time retailer placing an order with the company.

 

“From the initial introductory call, to the sales process, to the delivery, to the handling of any issues, to following up to make sure the product is the right fit, and checking in to make sure it’s working for their store,” explains Sandone “We emphasize so much on creating raving fans – on providing excellent customer service and an amazing buying experience for customers.”

 

So, what’s the future of hemp look like for Elevated Trading?

 

Looking forward, the Sandones will continue to nurture relationships with the network of farms and retailers they work with to shape the future of the cannabinoid market. Serving as the trusted partner that bolsters the hemp supply chain for shared success across its players.

 

As consumers increasingly seek out unique strains or as minor cannabinoids ebb and flow, Elevated Trading seeks to stand out as a wholesale partner that retailers can rely on.

 

 

Meet Elevated Trading

Meet Cody Sandone, Founder & CEO of Elevated Trading

Why did you get into the hemp industry?

 

In 2019, I was introduced to the industry by a family friend, and we invested in a large outdoor farm in Southern Oregon. I was expecting a capital return, but the farmer was having trouble selling the material, so my brother and I stepped in to sell the material and recover our investment.

 

While moving thousands of pounds of CBD flower, we saw a huge gap in the supply chain between farmers and retailers and quickly knew we could fix this problem. At the time, the industry was heavily plagued with bad actors, inconsistent products, failed business dealings, and a lot of frustrated retailers left holding the bag…literally.

 

We formed Elevated Trading in January 2020 on a mission to elevate the supply chain and build a reliable, trusted bridge from the farm to the retailer. I left my corporate sales gig in Cybersecurity in September 2020 to pursue Elevated Trading full-time, and I haven’t looked back. This industry is incredibly exciting, and I’m glad to be a part of it.

 

What do you think are the main challenges within this industry?

 

I see two big challenges in this industry. Legislation and infighting.

 

In such a regulated industry, there is always an underlying concern of business impacting legislation that could make it impossible to operate with the hemp industry. We fully support sensible legislation around consumer safety and age restrictions, but the vast majority of legislation that’s been introduced is seemingly done out of ignorance or malice.

 

The second issue is the infighting within cannabis (both marijuana and hemp). The fact is that we’re all participating in the cannabis industry in different capacities. There’s room for everyone, but, surprisingly, the vast majority of negativity surrounding the hemp industry seems to be launched directly from the marijuana world. Everyone needs to stay in their lane and focus on their customers instead of fighting so hard against other businesses that are all promoting access to cannabis.

 

What is the most important advice that you would give individuals who are looking to get involved in this industry?

 

Most people underestimate this industry. I’m a capitalist and believe in competition so I welcome anyone to the industry, but the vast majority of folks entering the cannabis space seem to believe this is a quick way to make a lot of money. There is a blindness for a lot of business owners entering this space because they are so connected with the plant. Having passion for the plant is a great attribute, but you need some business chops to play in this arena.

 

This industry is exciting and lucrative, but you need to differentiate yourself and your product set if you’re going to enter at this stage of the game. There are too many copycat vendors and products, and the consumers are starting to get wiser about the quality they expect from their products. Biggest advice is to do extensive market research, figure out exactly where you want to play, and go all in on that particular domain. Don’t try to be everything to everyone…that’s not how you win.

 

What do you hope to see for the future of the hemp industry in Texas?

 

Texas has a booming hemp market today, and I hope to see us continue to flourish and lead the charge on how a robust, mature hemp market should be operating. There are a lot of companies in the Texas market operating with integrity and putting the consumer first.

 

Everyone deserves the freedom to choose what they consume, and I firmly believe that the hemp program in Texas is a testament to watching the consumers vote with their dollars. Hemp is a game changer for Texas residents, and I’m stoked to be a part of it.

 

As the industry matures in Texas, we’re continuing to see the level of products and integrity among brands really increase which is exciting and encouraging for us who’ve been operating in Texas for a long time.

 

How to Utilize Elevation Trading:

 

At Elevated Trading, we’ve always specialized in wholesale bulk flower products, and we’re hyper-focused on our customer’s success. We have a very high touch sales process that allows us to learn a lot about our customers and really formulate a partnership that drives real revenue and growth to their bottom line. We look forward to learning more about your business.

 

Find Elevated Trading online at www.elevatedtrading.com or call 972-373-4240 and mention Texas Hemp Reporter.

 

The Texas Hemp Coalition’s goal is to provide industry specific information to growers, processors and entities that are involved in the Texas Hemp Industry. We will serve as an advocacy, educational and networking liaison to reputable entities within the hemp industry. Visit www.texashempcoalition.org for more information.

 

 The Rise of Texas-Made THC Beverages

Welcome to the frontier of refreshment, where the spirit of Texas meets the innovation of hemp-derived THC beverages. Across the Lone Star State, a revolution is brewing, one tantalizing sip at a time. From the rolling hills of Dripping Springs to the bustling streets of Austin, Texans are embracing a new kind of drink—one that promises all the buzz without the fuzz. Let’s embark on a journey through the heart of Texas, where four trailblazing brands are crafting the future of leisurely sips.

Tejas Tonic: A Toast to Texas Tradition

First up, we mosey on down to Dripping Springs, where Tejas Tonic is stirring up something special with its new “Agarita Berry”. Imagine sipping on the essence of Texas, a drink so rooted in local tradition that it feels like a high-five from the Lone Star State itself. With 5mg of hemp-derived delta-9 THC, this carbonated marvel is the brainchild of folks who take “homegrown” to heart. No synthetics, no artificial flavors—just the pure joy of top-shelf THC and CBD, delivering a grin without the grimace of a hangover.

As Tejas Tonic expands, their commitment to natural, all-inclusive ingredients remains as steadfast as a Texas oak. It’s a drink that’s as friendly to the earth as it is to your taste buds, embodying everything from farm-to-table ethics to a laundry list of dietary considerations. If Texas pride could be bottled, Tejas Tonic would be it.

Restart CBD: A Zesty Texan Salute

Next, we shout “Hola!” to Restart CBD’s “Rita,” the non-alcoholic BFF you never knew you needed. Bid farewell to hangovers and hello to a zesty agave lime seltzer that’s as refreshing as a Texas spring. Crafted with the simplicity and purity of nature in mind, this blend of lime, agave, and 5mg of hemp-derived delta-9 THC is a testament to the art of minimalism. With every sip of Restart CBD, you’re not just drinking a seltzer; you’re imbibing the spirit of Texas innovation.

Cheech & Chong Brands: High & Dry in the Sky

From the legendary duo that needs no introduction, Cheech & Chong Brands brings you “High & Dry,” a beverage line that’s as iconic as its namesake. With flavors like Magic Mule and Raspberry Highball, these drinks are your ticket to a euphoric journey through the clouds. If ginger and lime had a love child, it’d be the Magic Mule, a drink so divine it’ll have you saying, “Dave’s not here, man,” because you’re too busy riding high on this fizzy concoction.

Oak Cliff Cultivators: Ease Into Texas Bliss

Oak Cliff Cultivators invites you to “Ease Up” with their Watermelon Lime flavor. It’s a symphony of taste, a perfect balance of sweet watermelon and tangy lime, infused with 10mg of hemp-derived delta-9 THC for that just-right buzz. This beverage is like a Texas sunset in a can—vibrant, unforgettable, and deeply satisfying.

Hill Beverage – Snoop Dogg’s “Do it Fluid”

Introducing the sip that’s as smooth as the man behind it: Snoop Dogg’s “Do it Fluid” by Hill Beverage. It’s a bold statement in a small package, blending the tangy taste of Blood Orange with a pioneering NANO blend of hemp-derived CBD and delta-9 THC. It’s designed for those who appreciate the finer things in life—chill vibes, bold flavors, and a health-conscious buzz. At 8 ounces, it’s the perfect companion for any laid-back gathering or a solo night in, ensuring you’re enjoying the citrus zing with just the right hint of relaxation.

Sweet Sensi – Fizzy Lifters

Prepare for lift-off with Sweet Sensi’s Fizzy Lifters, the groundbreaking rosin drink. Greg Autry’s patented touch has given life to a beverage unlike any other—a symphony of natural flavors and potent, high THC Hash Rosin, crafted from hydroponically-grown flowers. Whether you’re unwinding or getting the party started, these fizzy delights, available in Pineapple Kiwi Express, Mellow Melon Berry, or Purple Tangie, are sure to elevate your day. A gentle buzz without the alcohol, this is what innovation in relaxation looks like.

Power Biopharms – Power House

Cheers to wellness in a can with Power House, the collaborative creation from Martin House Brewing Company and Power Biopharms. This sugar-free seltzer doesn’t just quench your thirst; it redefines it. With 5mg of hemp-derived Delta-9 THC per can, choose between the zest of Lemon Lime or the sweet kiss of Strawberry—or don’t choose at all and mix it up with a 50/50 split. Responsible enjoyment has never tasted this good, with every sip of this effervescent elixir reminding you of the power of plant wellness.

Drink Delta – “Delta Light”

Say hello to “Delta Light” from Drink Delta, the epitome of social sipping. This zero-calorie, sugar-free, Tropical Mango-flavored delight is your ticket to a relaxing, euphoric escape. Designed for micro-dosing, “Delta Light” is the go-to option for those looking to maintain the perfect social buzz with minimal impact on the waistline. Crafted with minimal and plant-based ingredients and 5mg of hemp-derived delta-9 THC, it’s the responsible way to savor a calming and delicious experience.

Legal Maverick Adam Reposa

 

In the vibrant city of Austin, Texas, where the boundaries of legal interpretations and personal freedoms often blur, Adam Reposa stands out as a figure of defiant clarity. Known for his unyielding and audacious presence in the courtroom, Reposa has navigated the legal system’s intricacies for two decades, becoming a symbol of resistance against perceived judicial injustices. His latest endeavor, however, ventures into the contentious arena of cannabis sales, drawing significant attention and law enforcement scrutiny to his operation, ATX Budtenders.

 

ATX Budtenders, boldly advertised through a website featuring a cannabis menu and contact information, operated out of a distinctive East Austin property marked by a pink ice cream truck. This setup, as provocative as it is transparent, prompted a dramatic law enforcement raid on the morning of January 22. The operation resulted in the seizure of cannabis, THC edibles, psilocybin mushrooms, firearms, and other items, though no arrests were made at the scene. Reposa, undeterred, claims the substances were CBD, a legal derivative of cannabis, challenging authorities to prove otherwise.

 

The raid, reportedly led by a coalition of the DEA, APD, and TCSO SWAT teams, has sparked debate over jurisdiction and the actual leadership of the operation. Reposa contests the notion of a DEA-led raid, pointing out the involvement of local sheriff’s officers, which, according to him, complicates the federal agency’s direct authority in the matter.

The backdrop to this latest episode is Reposa’s long-standing reputation as a provocateur, not just in legal circles but also in public discourse. His infamous viral marketing and confrontational stance towards the prosecutorial system have made him a divisive figure. Yet, Reposa’s current predicament with ATX Budtenders reveals more than just a legal battle; it underscores his broader critique of cannabis laws and the enforcement strategies that accompany them.

 

Reposa argues that the raid on his dispensary and the seizure of his products without subsequent charges exemplifies a deliberate attempt to disrupt the local cannabis market. By preventing entrepreneurs from establishing stable market positions ahead of potential legalization and licensing changes, authorities, he suggests, aim to maintain control over the industry’s evolution.

However, Reposa’s defiance goes beyond mere market concerns. He is openly challenging the rationality and justice of cannabis prohibition, questioning the government’s right to criminalize a substance increasingly recognized for its harmlessness. Through his legal strategies and public statements, Reposa seeks to provoke a broader discussion about liberty, rights, and the role of government in regulating personal choices.

 

While the future of Reposa’s legal confrontation remains uncertain, with Travis County District Court recusing itself from the case, the implications of his actions ripple through the community. Whether seen as a crusader for personal freedoms or a reckless agitator, Reposa’s saga with ATX Budtenders illustrates the ongoing tensions surrounding cannabis law and the quest for a more just and sensible approach to its regulation.

420 Anniversary for Go Green Botanicals Inbox

Elevate Your 4/20 with Go Green Botanicals’ 6th Anniversary Party at Faust Brewery!
Join us for an electrifying 4/20 celebration at Faust Brewery this April 20th, from 4:20 PM to 10:00 PM. Go Green Botanical’s is marking its 6th year with a bang, featuring legendary performances, celebrity appearances, and exclusive brews in a party that promises to be this year’s highlight.
**Special Guests:** Grammy winner Sir Earl Toon from Cool and The Gang and Dallas football sensation Sam Williams will be igniting the stage, with the dynamic DJ Jesse Esquivel spinning tunes that’ll keep you on your feet. Don’t miss the chance to meet our Cheech impersonator, capturing the spirit of the day with uncanny resemblance!
**Exclusive Offers:** Dive into special drink selections by Faust Brewery and explore a variety of vendors, enriching your experience with flavors and finds like nowhere else.
VIP ticket holder gets a FREE gram, celebrating in true 4/20 style.
**Save the Date:** April 20th | 4:20 PM – 10:00 PM | Faust Brewery in New Braunfels
**About Go Green Botanicals:** A leader in botanical wellness, Go Green Botanicals is dedicated to enhancing health and happiness through quality products and community engagement.
**Join Us:** Don’t just hear about it; be there to experience it. Secure your spot for an epic celebration with Go Green Botanicals.

SXSW Outlaw Party: Championing Cannabis Justice with Art, Music, and Advocacy

Austin, TX – The SXSW Outlaw Party, a beacon of hope and activism in the heart of Austin, is set for March 12th at Pour Choices Bar, from 8 PM to 2 AM. This event, proudly presented by Cheech & Chong’s Cannabis and Dreamz Cannabis Investments, invites attendees to a night dedicated to cannabis culture, advocacy, and the arts.

The event will feature a live mural by Hail Mary Art Collective, creating a poignant and powerful piece on the side of Pour Choices to spotlight the ongoing injustices faced by individuals incarcerated for cannabis-related offenses. Music for the evening will be provided by Ellis Bullard, setting the tone for an unforgettable experience. Catering will be expertly handled by Cheeba Hut, ensuring guests enjoy a taste of Austin’s best.

John Fisher, CEO and Cody Fisher, COO of Dreamz Cannabis Investments and the new Cheech & Chong’s APOTHICARIA share, “Our involvement in this event is a testament to our commitment to cannabis justice reform. It’s an honor to support the Last Prisoner Project and to be part of an evening that promises to make a significant impact.”

Liz Grow of Grow House Media adds, “The Outlaw Party is a pivotal event that grows more impactful each year. With the support of Cheech & Chong’s Cannabis as this year’s presenting sponsor, we’re set to make an even greater mark in the fight against unjust cannabis laws.”

A diverse array of sponsors, including Weedmaps, BucannaLabs, Tejas Tonic, Errganix Hemp Farm, Texas Hill Country Vape & Smoke, Fresh Grown Texas, Wana Brands, Flower by Edie Parker, 4k Pharms, Rare Earth Genomics, GRAV Labs, and many others, are coming together to support this cause, each adding a unique flavor to the night’s festivities.

Mary Bailey, Managing Director of the Last Prisoner Project, states, “The dedication and support from the SXSW Outlaw Party are invaluable to our mission. Together, we’re not just raising awareness; we’re actively working towards a world where no one is imprisoned for cannabis.”

 

 

Event Highlights:

  • Date & Time: March 12th, 8 PM – 2 AM
  • Location: Pour Choices Bar, 401 E 6th St, Austin, TX
  • Tickets & Information: growhousemediaevents.com

Join us for a night of music, art, and advocacy. Your support helps us move closer to a future of freedom and justice for all. For tickets and further details, please visit www.growhousemediaevents.com.

About the Last Prisoner Project:

The Last Prisoner Project is at the forefront of the fight against cannabis-related incarcerations, working tirelessly to free those incarcerated due to the War on Drugs, reuniting their families, and helping them rebuild their lives. Any proceeds from the event will directly support the Last Prisoner Project in its ongoing efforts to reform cannabis laws and assist those unjustly affected by them. Learn more about their mission at www.lastprisonerproject.org or text FREEDOM to 24365.

Media Contact:

Liz Grow, CEO Grow House Media

[email protected]

(512) 695-6747

Practical Risk Management Tips for Texas Hemp and Cannabis Businesses

By Rae Guyse

Though coverage options have opened up to the hemp industry in recent years, hemp is still considered a high-risk industry with special insurance considerations that those in the hemp industry should be aware of. Whether you are a farmer, processor, manufacturer, or retailer, insurance is an important risk mitigation tool for you to have to in place. This article provides an overview of practical tips for securing the right insurance coverage for your business and includes other risk management issues to assess.

  1. Work with a knowledgeable broker and shop around when securing insurance – and be sure to secure all required coverage lines needed to protect your business.

A broker with experience securing coverage for hemp and cannabis businesses can help you negotiate the right coverage. However, its important to do your own due diligence as well. Shop various coverage lines with multiple insurers. Not all insurance companies in this space are offering a good product, and some sell insurance coverage with so many exclusions you may be left high and dry should an accident occur. A skilled coverage attorney can also help by reviewing any policy terms you have been offered, breaking down your scope of coverage, and spotting any terms you may want to negotiate to have added for your specific business needs. Often, we see companies that believe they had secured correct coverage, only to find out during an adverse event that the coverage they needed had been whittled away by an exclusion to the policy.

Be sure to do a full business analysis to understand all of the coverage lines you require to be protected in all disaster scenarios. Ensure all buildings, machinery, crop, and lots are covered, but don’t just focus on only the product, equipment, or store front–you will need all the traditional first-party and third-party insurance coverage that every other type of standard business should have. First-party coverage refers to insurance for harms that occur directly to your property or business, such as property and crop insurance, business interruption insurance, intellectual property infringement, data loss, cyber insurance, and crime insurance. Third-party coverage covers liabilities to a third-party you may become responsible for, the most common being commercial general liability insurance. Commercial general liability generally affords protection when people get injured on your property (think “slip and fall” scenarios). Other types of insurance you likely need include commercial automobile insurance, workers’ compensation or employer liability insurance, and product liability insurance.

Should an incident arise, make sure you know which policies are triggered. Sometimes you can find surprise coverage in a policy you would not normally think would be triggered by a certain incident, so it is good practice to give each policy a quick review each time you have a potential claim.

  1. Be familiar with your lease agreement and any included insurance requirements.

You should read and study your lease agreement cover to cover just like you would do with your insurance policy (and hire counsel to help you through it if resources allow). It is important that the landlord for any space you intend to rent for your hemp business understands the full purpose for which you plan to rent the space, especially any hemp cultivation or manufacturing activities. Your lease agreement governs the terms between the landlord and your business, and many of those terms relate to how risk is allocated between the parties.  For example, your lease agreement should identify who is responsible for certain repairs, day to day maintenance of the building, and who owns improvements.  It is also common for lease agreements to set forth certain minimum insurance requirements. Failure to adhere to the required insurance terms can put your lease at risk and reduce coverage availability. Make sure the “scope of use” terms of your agreement are broad enough to encompass your business activities. Also, take note of the renewal and termination terms, and whether and how much notice is required. Counsel may be able to help negotiate lease terms in your favor such as pushing the start date of your lease to after the date your business becomes fully operational, solidifying purchase options or the right of first refusal, or reducing certain obligations required of you under the proposed lease.

It is a good idea to have counsel in negotiating the terms of a lease agreement. It is relatively common for key terms to be missed in agreements drafted among parties, which can leave parties without much direction or recourse should something go wrong. It is smart to include terms that commit your landlord to complying with all rules and regulations needed to stay compliant for your businesses’ licensing or premises’ activities. Your landlord is equally likely to want to negotiate terms for legal “outs” for things such as illegal activity, bad grow years, lack of payment, and/or environmental violations. Landlords often also require indemnity from tenants for any liability or civil forfeiture issues.

  1. Watch out for broadly written exclusions, and see if key endorsements can be added to your coverage.

Insurance policies are written in a complicated and hard to decipher format, where coverage is granted by a relatively broad coverage form, and that same coverage is then slowly stripped away by numerous exclusions and policy endorsements listed in different places throughout the policy. This is why it is important to read closely or work with coverage counsel to determine the scope of coverage your policy truly affords. For example, a broadly drafted “health hazard” exclusion in a product liability policy could remove coverage for the types of third-party injuries you would be seeking coverage for if it voids coverage for “any type” of adverse health effect resulting from the any use of your hemp product. Another one to look out for is language that bars coverage for any delta-8 or other novel cannabinoid product – many carrier forms will define “hemp” based on total THC content, not distinguishing between delta-9 and other variants. Vape-related exclusions are also common.

On the flip side, coverage counsel may also be able to help identify key coverage endorsements you can negotiate to have added to your policy. For example, a retailer selling CBD and delta-8 products would be smart to negotiate an Advertising Injury Endorsement, which protects the business from parties that claim to have been injured by an advertising claim made by the business. Make sure to ask your broker if they consider any form of false advertising claim fraudulent. This is one of those tricky areas where hemp or cannabis businesses often believe they have secured coverage – only to later find out when served with a lawsuit that the insurer will deny coverage. It is also a good idea to have an Intellectual Property Endorsement, which protects against accidental intellectual property infringement, a strict liability claim that can be costly to defend without proper coverage. Depending on the extent of your e-commerce activities, data loss coverage may also be recommended.

  1. Understand the requirements of your insurance policies in the event you do need to make a claim.

All insurance policies will have specific terms within the policy you need to comply with in the event that you need to submit a claim. When an incident occurs that you think could be covered, don’t wait – most policies require you to provide prompt notice of a claim, and any significant delay could reduce or void coverage. Other terms explicitly require cooperation with the insurer’s investigation of the incident, and they will likely set forth numerous other policy conditions that must be satisfied for insurance to cover the incident. Compliance is also huge when it comes to ensuring you get the coverage you paid for – anywhere your business is out of compliance with federal, state, or local laws or regulations puts you at risk of losing coverage should an insurable event related to your business or product arise. You should also be  mindful of what actions explicitly void coverage under your policy. Insurers will often dispute coverage and reserve their right to decline coverage when there is even a small chance that an exclusion may be found to apply to your claim. When communicating with your insurer, be sure to put everything in writing. Be sure to respond fully and promptly to all insurer requests. Also, be aware of privilege issues. Assume any communications with your broker will not be privileged in a later dispute over the claim should one arise, and do not forward any legal communications with your coverage counsel to another third party. In the event your insurer responds to your claim with a denial letter, skilled coverage counsel can review the basis for the denial and often find a legal basis for why coverage should be afforded. Where necessary, coverage counsel can escalate the denial to  filing a demand or suit against your insurer.

While risk management is often the last thing a company wants to think about when getting started, it is essential to the long-term success of your business and one of the most important forward-facing steps you should cover from inception. It only takes one claim or lawsuit to put your business at severe financial risk. As the age old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Making sure you have a comprehensive insurance and risk management plan in place can help keep you protected.

 

Rae Guyse is an associate attorney with Ritter Spencer PLLC. Rae handles matters for companies in all sectors of the hemp, cannabis, and alternative medicine industries, including manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in matters related to compliance, licensing, insurance, trademarking and litigation. Prior to joining Ritter Spencer, Rae spent over two years as an insurance recovery attorney, helping companies maximize their insurance payout in claims against their insurers. As a skilled coverage attorney, Rae can assist you in reviewing your insurance policy before you sign the dotted line to ensure proper coverage. You can reach Rae at 214-295-5070, or email [email protected] to schedule a consultation with her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ORCA by Hometown Hero

Hometown Hero is proud to introduce ORCA. Leveraging years of leadership in the Hemp industry, the Austin-based company has established a reputation for uncompromising quality cannabis products derived from organically grown hemp. Born from this expertise, ORCA is positioned to serve growth-minded consumers with high-functioning and active lifestyles.

 
With innovative form factors and suitable fast-acting THC micro-doses, ORCA is designed to activate the power to move unhindered and build resilience, starting with the mind. ORCA is launching in a form factor that is pared down to its essence: sugar-free, all-natural pills, surrounded by an entourage of wellness supplements curated for high energy, deep recovery, and relaxation needs. The ORCA launch collection is complemented by a recovery roll-on for topical use.

ORCA Energy pill: Orca Energy combines the benefits of water-soluble THC with a potent blend of essential nutrients to provide a natural boost of energy. Orca Energy is the perfect rapid onset micro- dose to amplify performance.



Boosted with:
–       Hemp-Derived Delta-9 THC for pain reduction and overall feeling of well-being
–       Biotin and vitamin B-12 to help convert food to energy
–       Zinc to reduce inflammation
–       Thiamine to help metabolize energy
–       Caffeine to enhance mental clarity and energize
ORCA Recovery Pill
Orca Recovery is an innovative fast-acting THC pill specifically designed to enhance post-
workout recovery. This groundbreaking formula is enriched with a blend of L-Theanine,
Riboflavin, Magnesium, and Manganese, which work harmoniously to provide exceptional
benefits. With Orca Recovery, athletes can experience improved muscle repair, reduced
inflammation, and enhanced relaxation, allowing them to bounce back stronger after intense
workouts.
Boosted with:
–       Hemp-Derived Delta-9 THC for pain relief and overall feeling of well-being
–       L-Theanine for relaxation and stress relief
–       Riboflavin to help the body produce energy
–       Magnesium to help with muscle relaxation and recovery
–       Manganese to support overall wellness


ORCA Roll-on
The ORCA Max Strength recovery roll-on is intended to address pain, sore muscles, and joint discomfort. This soothing, non-greasy, fast-absorbing roll-on combines Menthol with our most potent blend of organically grown, Full Spectrum hemp extract. It offers targeted relief and promotes fast recovery after strenuous activities. The carefully formulated blend penetrates deep into the muscles, reducing inflammation, soothing joint pain, and alleviating muscle soreness.


Boosted with:
–  Hemp-Derived Delta-9 THC and Hemp-Derived Delta-8 THC to reduce pain and inflammation

  • Menthol for cooling sensation and healing properties.

ZAR Wellness on Podcast # 133

Our friends at ZAR Wellness come on the show and educate our team and listeners on the many products and benefits from CBD and cannabis wellness products, their business, and mission statement.
ZAR is a veteran owned family brand and are happy to help many communities through their storefronts and online store.

Veterans Text ‘Military’ to 254.226.5346 to verify military ID for 22% OFF Discount. No Medical Card Needed at ZAR Cannabis Dispensaries

Podcast # 131 with J-Man of Weed & Whisky TV

In this last weeks episode Jerry “J-Man” Joyner appears on the Texas Hemp Show to discuss his brand BUCK A BUZZ gummies, as well as talk about the health benefits of cannabis. Joyner has teamed up with Patriot Media Group to offer marketing services with the Texas Hemp Reporter.

Weed & Whiskey News: Texas Hemp Show

The Texas Hemp Show team is working closely this summer with Weed and Whiskey TV and Jerry “J-Man” Joyner in production of hosting more content with the news network from Dallas. Russell Dowden and his team Rachel Nelson and Carl Robinson will be occasionally hosting the Weed & Whiskey News Austin edition from the new studio in downtown Austin TX.

While the teams will share related cannabis content and news for fellow Texans on the ROKU platform, Joyner and Dowden will offer a “combo” Advertising Package with all their media services put together. The Texas Hemp Show airs on all podcast platforms globally, and its ESPN radio partners in Austin at 102.7 FM on Saturday mornings. Then with print media with the Texas Hemp Reporter statewide delivers to 800 CBD & Smoke-shops across the State 6 editions a year, while Weed & Whiskey.TV has over 90K subscribers watching their programing on ROKU devices and their YouTube platform.

The partnership was discussed in on Episode #41 of Weed & Whiskey News recently, kicking off the Austin TX downtown studios with Real News Networks. (see above).

Weed & Whiskey News: Austin

The Texas Hemp Reporter is excited to report on our partnership this Spring with Jerry Joyner aka “JMan” and our friends at the Dallas TX based Weed & Whiskey TV. The ROKU Platform offers cannabis content, and much more from its APP, YouTube channel, and website platforms. Viewers are now be able to access Texas Hemp Show content from the website but the networks staple show Weed & Whiskey News is also shooting weekly content from the new Austin TX based studio.

Joyner and Dowden will frequently appear together as well as separately from the new downtown Austin Texas facilities. Russell appeared on Episode 35 last month and has plans to collaborate on several projects with the Weed & Whiskey TV platform.

Click to watch Episode # 35 here on YouTube.

The Texas Hemp Show has also landed itself back on local air-waves in Austin TX with Waterloo Media and Austin’s ESPN flagship Saturdays from 8am-9am on weekends. The Podcast Audience is already growing on digital platforms, but the new edition of ESPN will only blossom the talk show into more listeners and a budding interest in business and opportunities as cannabis becomes more mainstream in the Lone Star State.

One Project Coming Soon from Weed & Whiskey TV & Patriot Media Group is a new News Program called “Paranoid America”

Herban Bud Launches Blendz Disposable Vapes

AUSTIN, Texas – April 18, 2023 – Herban Bud, a premium provider of maximum strength cannabis products made from legal hemp plants, announced today the launch of its brand new disposable vape line, Blendz. The line includes three flavors, Grape Ape (indica), Super Lemon Haze (sativa), and Strawnana (hybrid) and can be purchased separately or in a bundle of three.

Blendz are created with a custom formula by Herban Bud that features the highly euphoric Delta-11 (11-hydroxy-THC), an HHC base, and 10% THCp aka the special ingredient that makes this blend so powerful and potent. Blendz Disposable Vapes are Farm Bill compliant and federally legal, and with two grams of oil in each vape, there’s plenty of juice to keep cannabis enjoyers lifted.

“Our new Blendz vapes are one of the strongest–if not the strongest–legal hemp vapes for sale on the market,” said Paul Trowe, founder of Herban Bud. “We carefully balanced our formula to create a product appealing to recreational and medicinal customers. The formula includes the growingly popular Delta 11 cannabinoid and added HHC and THCp to maximize on potency. This vape will hit you much harder than other cannabis products like Delta 9 and can also provide a stronger dose of physical relief for those looking to manage pain and promote relaxation.”

Once activated by heat, the Delta 11 (11-hydroxy-THC) cannabinoid is naturally created by the body as it breaks down Delta 9 THC. Delta-11 THC is a naturally-occurring cannabinoid within the hemp plant and not a synthetic cannabinoid. HHC (hexahydrocannabinol) is a hemp-derived cannabinoid that creates a similar body high to Delta-9 THC, but at a slightly lower potency (roughly 80% the strength of Delta-9). THCp (tetrahydrocannabiphorol) is a natural cannabinoid that bonds well with the user’s cannabinoid receptors, creating a euphoric high potentially 20 times stronger than Delta-9 THC. This vape is 10% THCp for potent physical relief and relaxation.

The new line of Blendz disposable vapes includes:

●      Blendz Single Use Vape ($39.99) – This custom blend from Herban Bud features the highly euphoric Delta-11. With the addition of gentle HHC and 10% THCp, this blend is powerful and potent. Users report a fast onset of effects, with a strong euphoric lift and a floaty body feeling.

Choose from three strains:

○      Grape Ape (Indica)

○      Super Lemon Haze (Sativa)

○      Strawnana (Hybrid)

●      Blendz Bundle ($89.99) – Each bundle includes: 1 Grape Ape (indica), 1 Super Lemon Haze (sativa), and 1 Strawnana (hybrid).

Each product is carefully formulated with the best organic hemp products available. Unlike some brands, Herban Bud never pads its products with low cost cannabinoids, and that’s why its products are some of the most effective on the market. Herban Bud has the highest standards when it comes to cannabis products and all Certificates of Analysis are publicly available. 

Herban Bud also sells gummies, pre-roll joints, and loose flower in THCa, Delta-8, HHC, THCo and THCp products. For more information on other products sold, please visit the Herban Bud website.

For more information on HHC and hemp disposable vapes, its benefits and the current research, please visit the Herban Bud blog.

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Herban Bud, a premium provider of maximum strength cannabis products made from legal hemp plants based out of Austin, Texas. The cannabis company makes and sells the strongest legal edibles, vapes, and THC flower in the forms of Delta-9, Delta-8, HHC, THCo, and THCa. Legal THC products are available online, or at hundreds of distributors nationwide. The brand’s current largest markets are currently in Texas, Florida and North Carolina. Follow the brand on Instagram at @herbanbudtx or visit the blog for more information on legal cannabis. 

April Edition / Digital Issue

April Edition of the Texas Hemp Reporter covers the current state of Hemp & Cannabis while the 88th Legislature is in session. Also covered are the medical benefits from many cannabinoids. Introducing “Tejas Tonic” the new terp-boosted THC beverage from Aaron at Tejas Hemp in Dripping Springs Texas. Weed & Whiskey TV also profiled & Texas Blues Legend Chris Duarte.