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Tag: .3%

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

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! 

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