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Alternative Products Expo: Houston June 20-22

Introducing the best industry event for smoke shop professionals.

Texas Hemp Reporter invites you to Alternative Products Expo!

This June 20th at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center, experience a 3-day gathering of the best from the world of Hemp, Vape, CBD, Kratom and everything smoke shops

Whether you’re a smoke shop owner, product manufacturer, distributor, retailer or even just a curious enthusiast, everyone can be part of this once-a-year event bringing the world of alternative products to the people of Houston

Texas Hemp Reporter has partnered with Alternative Products Expo to offer our listeners complimentary entrance passes to this year’s Houston event.

Visit, and for a limited time, use code TEXASHEMP on checkout to claim your complimentary tickets!

Alternative Products Expo Miami Show Marks a New Era of Industry Success

Miami, FL – The latest installment of the Alternative Products Expo, held from March 14-16, 2024, at the vibrant Mana Wynwood Convention Center, has once again set a benchmark in the smoke shop and alternative products industry. This year’s Miami show, a spectacle of innovation and networking, wrapped up with unprecedented success, drawing in an eclectic mix of vendors, buyers, and industry enthusiasts from across the globe and beyond, thanks to the innovative flight voucher program provided by AltPro.

As the first significant industry event of the year, the Alternative Products Expo in Miami showcased a myriad of breakthrough products and technologies, setting a strong pace for the industry’s direction in 2024. With over 300 exhibitors and thousands of industry attendees, the expo has not only exceeded expectations but has also amplified the buzz surrounding the potential of alternative products in the mainstream market.

Unparalleled Engagement and Opportunities

This year’s event featured an impressive lineup of exhibitors ranging from established market leaders to innovative startups, each bringing something unique to the table. From cutting-edge vape technologies to the latest in CBD, the expo served as a premier platform for showcasing the newest trends and products.

Noteworthy was the engagement level seen at the show, with exhibitors reporting record-breaking interactions and transactions. The strategic timing of the show, post-Q1, allowed vendors to gauge current market dynamics deeply, making it a critical checkpoint for adjusting annual business strategies.

Catalyst for Business Growth

The expo not only provided a platform for showcasing products but also acted as a catalyst for forging substantial business relationships. Many exhibitors and buyers finalized deals directly on the show floor, highlighting the expo’s role in driving direct trade and opening new channels for distribution.

Testimonials from participants echo the sentiment of success and satisfaction. Luke from Hidden Hills mentioned, “This show was the perfect opportunity to launch our new product line. The reception was beyond our expectations, and the connections we’ve made are invaluable.”

Highlights and Incentives

The show’s innovative buyer incentives included the AltPro flight voucher program, which saw buyers flying in from all over the nation and even from abroad to partake in the event. The climax of the show was the thrilling giveaway where two lucky store owners won over $50,000 each in wholesale inventory, significantly enhancing the excitement and engagement at the event.


Continuing the Momentum in TEXAS!

Building on the success of the Miami show, Alternative Products Expo is already gearing up for its next stops in Medellín, Houston, and Atlanta. These upcoming events promise to carry forward the momentum, with each location tailored to capture the unique aspects of their respective regional markets.

The Alternative Products Expo continues to not only meet but exceed the needs and expectations of the industry, solidifying its position as a leader in the trade show circuit for alternative products.

About Alternative Products Expo

Starting in 2017 as Vape Conventions and evolving through its rebranding as USA CBD EXPO, and finally to its current identity as Alternative Products Expo, the organization has been at the forefront of showcasing everything the alternative product industry has to offer. With a history of facilitating industry growth and innovation, Alternative Products Expo is committed to advancing the interests and success of all its participants.


For Industry Buyer tickets:

For media inquiries:

For Booth inquiries visit:

Website: Alt Pro Expo


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.

Are Texas Hemp Shop Raids A Real Concern?

There is no secret about it: Sales of hemp-derived products have exploded all across the Lone Star State. Just about every CBD store, smoke shop, and even gas stations are displaying a multitude of various hemp cannabinoid products with contents ranging from broad spectrum CBD isolate  to very potent THC and  THC derivatives. In fact, a recent report by Whitney Economics suggests Texas businesses engaged in the hemp retail sector are bringing in 8 million dollars in revenue and hiring 50,000 people (1). That is a substantial number in a state where “marijuana” is still illegal.

However, not everyone is winning in this emerging market. Reports began dropping on June 7th of this year, a shop selling hemp-derived products in Garland was raided by local law enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Administration (2). Bee Hippy Hemp was accused of selling illegal THC products and law enforcement seized the store’s products and other assets. The owner has since maintained their business did nothing wrong, all the products were federally and state compliant, and they had proof of valid Certificates of Authenticity (COA).

Soon after, a shop in another North Texas town   called Happy Hippies faced a near similar situation. On August 29th Little Elm PD obtained a warrant to find illegal THC products. They ended up seizing thousands of dollars of products for testing, but made no arrests. Then came Venom Vapors in Killeen on October 20th. This time, the owners were told by police  their COAs, which allegedly were valid, had levels of THC too high to be legal. Killeen PD believed the THC levels established probable cause for a warrant to be issued to seize the product, no matter what hemp laws say. This happening in a city that has decriminalized misdemeanor amounts of marijuana through a local referendum.


While all of these cases are currently under active investigation or pending prosecution, one common theme among them is the lack of understanding of Texas hemp law by local, state, and federal police,  and how they are translating it against long-standing marijuana enforcement. Hemp law was established in 2019 at the Texas Legislature, which virtually legalized everything about the cannabis plant except levels of delta-9 THC over .3% concentration by dry weight. And while Texas hemp is regulated by the Department of Agriculture and Department of State Health Services, little to nothing has been invested by the state to educate local law enforcement agencies about changes in hemp law. This all sits in juxtaposition to a medical cannabis program (Texas Compassionate Use Program) regulated by the Department of Public Safety.


Clear evidence of limited knowledge of Texas hemp law by local police was fully on display during the last Denton City Council meeting addressing marijuana decriminalization measure Proposition B on June 6th. Denton Police officers and representatives from the Denton Police Officer’s Association testified against the ordinance, and time and again, could not differentiate between hemp and marijuana from a policy, industry, or cultural standpoint. The measure was subsequently not adopted by Council.

Without a statewide paradigm shift in education and training, Texas remains a Wild West arena, where a variety of hemp-derived cannabis products are legal and widely available, but could land retailers or consumers in jail. And until one of these situations turns into a high profile court case that awards damages, the confusion as to how to enforce hemp and marijuana laws in Texas will continue to linger in limbo.


Cited Sources:







Daryoush Austin Zamhariri is the Executive Director of the Texas Cannabis Collective, a 501c4 nonprofit dedicated to news/media, advocacy, and premier events focused on Texas cannabis policy, industry, and culture.









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 to schedule a consultation with her.









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.

Does The Hangover Blocker by Sweet Sensi actually work?

As the years go by, I find myself drinking less and less because the hangovers keep getting worse and worse. But every once in a while, it would be nice to indulge in a fun night out without having to suffer the brutal consequences. 

This is exactly the problem Sweet Sensi’s new product solves. The Hangover Blocker is comprised of prickly pear, CBD and B12. I have heard that prickly pear is a magic hangover cure, but I brushed it off as an old wives’ tale. With Sweet Sensi’s new product hitting the market, I finally had the chance to find out for myself. 

It was a typical Saturday night, and I decided I wanted to go out and unwind with some drinks. I took the four capsules that make up The Hangover Blocker with 16 ounces of water as the package directs. The directions also advise taking the pills two hours before drinking, but I only waited one hour.

I wanted to put The Hangover Blocker to a true test, so I didn’t hold back. I had beers. Then, I had shots of tequila and whiskey followed by more beers. I indulged in what would normally result in two days of misery. But not this time.

When I woke up the next morning, I felt hungover at first. But the symptoms quickly faded. The next thing I knew, I was out enjoying brunch and a Bloody Mary at Bouldin Acres In Austin. Based on past experience, I would have without a doubt spent the day in bed if it weren’t for The Hangover Blocker. 

Needless to say, Sunday Funday got a little carried away, and the drinks kept flowing. When I got home that night, I took another package of The Hangover Blocker hoping it would save me. On Monday morning, I arrived at my office at 8 a.m. with a smile on my face and no hangover. 

I 10/10 recommend this product. Visit to try it for yourself.

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

The Now and Future of Yellow Acres Farm

Aran Arriaga is the Founder of Yellow Acres Farm

Texas Hemp Reporter: So how does it feel to be out in the Texas country

and farming hemp?

Adan: We’re in East Texas about 30 miles out of Louisiana. It’s pine country, hot, Jasper County. It’s great I grew up here, this is our family farm so…

Texas Hemp Reporter: What strains are you presently growing?

Adan: There are two: we have Cherry Wine and Otto II x BaOx. Both are high CBD content plants, above 6%, legal THC percentage of course.

Texas Hemp Reporter: What is your experience of the Texas Hemp Industry?

Adan:  I find Texas to work as a team. The farmers, manufacturers, samplers, they band together networking. Texas can become the lead in the country in hemp production; Matt Buchanan did some sampling for us, then follow up then there’s Greg of Sweet Sensi, he works with us on rosin press extraction. I think our farm hopes to become a disrupter especially of outside raw hemp coming from out of state. Yellow Acres Farm (YAF) is a relatively small farm 85 acres but we plan to enlarge, improve our business model through growth.

Texas Hemp Reporter: What are your opinions on the Texas laws on growing hemp?

Adan: This year our team invested in lobbying, down at the Capitol, approached the House and Senate you know there’s a split in the community as well as the laws, marijuana versus hemp. The laws are are jumbled and the legislators don’t seem to study up on the difference between those industries. The scientific nomenclature versus the legal is all off, there was a bill introduced that would bundle hemp with cannabis and marijuana, and this is bad for growers. We need to insure that our businesses, our livelihoods are safe and we need to band together to amplify our interests. We did have a positive development hemp farmers now have a window of testing extended from 15 to 30 days, but this is only the beginning.

Texas Hemp Reporter: Is the Texas soil great for growing hemp?

Adan: We do a lot of enhancement work with our soil here, it’s a bit sandy. We are all natural so we add compost, minerals, microbiology, we practice replenishment. Yet the Texas climate is super for high CBD-yielding strains, the humidity these plants thrive on. So I believe we will become the lead producer of hemp as growers in the future.

Texas Hemp Reporter: Who does your team consist of?

Adan: There’s four of us, my brother Saulo who handles kind of the Operations manager position. And there’s the “bad boys of hemp” from San Antonio. Issac is our Brand Management person, handling marketing, networking and then Joshua who is our main farmer: he’s a real cultivator, checking details like the ph of water used, soil testing micro-remediation, composting, etc.

Texas Hemp Reporter: What about your R&D aspects?

Adan: I used to work in the beverage industry. I saw a lot of issues there especially concerning cannabis-infused drinks.  Canada is a country that does a ton of research into cannabis. They have accumulated many patents. We had approached a Canadian Pharmaceutical company, in order to see if we could license one of their products. They couldn’t but I learned all about the issues of delivery of cannabinoids. Nano-emulsions, CBD, CBG, Delta-8 etc. For instance canning: the inner-lining is often lipid-resistant creating a short shelf-life. And many consumers also want a translucent beverage for themselves. Well CBD oil has color, some of the organolipids do as well. So we have been developing the quality of how these cannabinoids can be delivered as well as naturally preserved.

And these processes are not limited to drinks, tinctures and topical’s also. It’s a learning process.

 Yellow Acres has a patent-pending for “A Method of Extraction for Immediate and Extended Release of Cannabinoids.” We’re concentrating on a process of single-dose extended duration release for both products and extractions.

We also think that licensing our IP can be very beneficial to other growers and researchers as well as developers. We hope to see the YAF label on a CBD beverage soon. And we’d like to develop gummies and candies and show them on the website. Being a farm we grow lots of vegetables so we’re using a burp-less cucumber to create a Yellow Acres Farm brand of pickles too!

CBD & THC for Traumatic Brain Injury: Plant cannabinoids reduce tissue damage and trauma following a closed head injury.

By The Editors of Readers Digest and Project CBD

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the leading causes of death worldwide in people under the age of 45. Many who survive severe head injuries suffer permanent behavioral and neurological impairment that adversely impacts learning and memory and often requires long-term rehabilitation. An estimated 5.3 million Americans are living with a TBI-related disability.

Even so-called mild cases of TBI can result in post-traumatic seizures, impaired brain function, and lower life expectancy. People can also suffer an acquired or nontraumatic injury, such as in the case of stroke, which causes similar damage to the brain by internal factors like lack of blood flow and oxygen (ischemia).

Cannabinoids like THC and CBD may reduce the trauma and the symptoms that follow brain injury thanks to their positive interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). A 2011 article in the British Journal of Pharmacology describes the ECS as “a self-protective mechanism” that kicks into high gear in response to a stroke or TBI. Coauthored by Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam, the article notes that endocannabinoid levels in the brain increase significantly during and immediately after a TBI. These endogenous compounds activate CB1 and CB2 receptors, which protect against TBI-induced neurological and motor deficits.

By manipulating the endocannabinoid system with cannabinoids, medical scientists have been able to reduce brain damage and improve functional recovery in animal studies of stroke and TBI. According to a 2010 report in the British Journal of Pharmacology, CBD can limit the amount of damaged tissue and help normalize the heart rhythm disturbances like arrhythmia that are common after a closed head injury.

A damaged brain can be remarkably plastic, but there is only a limited window of opportunity — generally thought of as 10 to 60 minutes — for therapeutic intervention to prevent, attenuate, or delay the degenerative domino effect of brain cell death and damage to the protective blood-brain barrier that occurs during a secondary injury cascade (a wave of further damage that occurs as a result of the lack of blood flow to the brain following the initial injury). CBD expands that window of opportunity. Researchers have learned that CBD can convey potent, long-lasting neuroprotection if given shortly before or as much as 12 hours after the onset of ischemia.

In 2016, scientists at the University of Nottingham (UK) reported that CBD shields the protective blood-brain barrier from the damaging effects of lack of oxygen and fuel after an injury. CBD prevents your blood-brain barrier from being damaged and becoming more permeable by activating the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor and the PPAR-gamma nuclear receptor.

CBD also protects the brain by increasing the concentration of endocannabinoids in the brain.

The researchers at the University of Nottingham have also conducted preclinical animal or laboratory research that examined the anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects of cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), the raw, unheated version of CBD found in the cannabis plant. “Like CBD,” the researchers concluded, “CBDA is effective in reducing blood brain permeability and inflammation in a cellular model of stroke.” CBD and CBDA both restore blood-brain barrier integrity by activating the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, which mediates CBD’s and CBDA’s anti-inflammatory effects.

Several athletes claim that CBD can help to ameliorate the lingering neurological problems associated with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a particularly severe form of TBI caused by the accumulation of numerous concussions.

CTE increases the risk of neurological problems later in life and hastens the progression of dementia. The anecdotal benefits of CBD-rich cannabis oil for CTE are well known among football players, boxers, and other professional athletes who are prone to head injuries.

Project CBD’s 2019 survey found that among people using CBD for a brain injury, CBD proved most helpful for relieving headaches, irritability, and agitation. CBD was less helpful for balance issues. In a small percentage of participants, CBD seemed to make issues with memory, concentration, and self-expression worse, but it’s unclear if that was the result of CBD or THC or if there were other unknown factors at work.

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

CBD, the Promiscuous Cannabinoid

What’s so special about CBD? Why all the hype? Let’s strip it down to the basics.

Discovered more than 80 years ago,  CBD/cannabidiol is a chemical compound found only in the cannabis plant. In high-THC/tetrahydrocannabinol cannabis “strains” – those with the most pronounced psychoactive effect – CBD is typically the second-most abundant cannabinoid. But there are also cannabis varietals with more or less equal parts CBD and THC, as well as CBD-rich cannabis and “hemp” plants with little THC.

Though structurally similar, THC and CBD act in different ways on various receptors in the brain and throughout the body. Both compounds are hypotensive, lowering blood pressure, and neurogenic, stimulating brain cell growth. But CBD and THC also exert opposing effects at the CB1 cannabinoid receptor. THC is notorious for inducing “the munchies,” for example, while CBD lessens appetite and lowers the ceiling on the THC high.

Overall, CBD has a significantly broader range of pharmacological action than THC or any other known plant cannabinoid, of which there are more than 100. A recent paper highlights the role of transient receptor potential [TRP] ion channels in mediating CBD’s effects on seizure, inflammation, cancer, pain, acne, and vasorelaxation.  CBD also binds to serotonin receptors and PPAR nuclear receptors that regulate lipid metabolism and gene expression.

It’s this “promiscuous” nature, coupled with the extensive reach of the endocannabinoid system anchored to CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout the human body, that explains why CBD can affect such a broad range of physiological processes – and why there continues to be so much clinical and pre-clinical research focused on its therapeutic potential.

Below are some of the latest medical science findings: evidence of, if nothing else, CBD’s sheer versatility.

Killing Harmful Bacteria

The authors of a new study in the journal Scientific Reports

  suggest that CBD could be “repurposed” as an antibacterial agent in clinical trials given its ability in lab experiments to counteract a variety of harmful bacteria, including some classified as multidrug-resistant. Pure CBD exhibited antibacterial activity against all 21 strains of Gram-positive bacteria tested, as well as against lipooligosaccharide-expressing bacteria and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (the cause of tuberculosis).

But CBD performed better, especially against problematic Gram-negative bacteria, when paired with low concentrations of the powerful antibiotic polymyxin B, suggesting an additive or synergistic effect that could reduce reliance on this drug of last resort – and thus help maintain its efficacy. “We highlight the promising translational potential of CBD repurposing as an antibacterial agent, mainly in the combination [of] CBD plus polymyxin B against Gram-negative bacteria, for rescue treatment for life-threatening infections,” the authors write.

Healing Depressive Symptoms

The downstream effects of CBD’s wide-ranging activity in the brain are key to a recent study of depressive-like behaviors in mice. Here’s the rationale followed by the China-based researchers, whose work was published in February 2022 in the journal Frontiers of Medicine:

A growing body of evidence suggests CBD may be an effective antidepressant, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. It’s known that chronic stress impairs neural stem cell differentiation and adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN), and that promoting AHN can increase stress resilience against depression, the study authors write. So could this be a pathway through which CBD exerts an anti-depressive effect?

Based upon an experiment in which CBD administration relieved depression and anxiety symptoms in stressed mice, the authors think so. While the findings don’t implicate a specific receptor or molecular target, they do reveal a previously unknown mechanism for neural differentiation and AHN in depression, the researchers write, and provide mechanistic insights into the antidepressive effects of CBD. While they’re optimistic about the implications (“undeniable direct evidence that CBD could be a potential treatment option for depression”), the authors acknowledge that much more is left to learn – especially in humans. “This study highlighted the need to deepen our understanding of CBD-induced neurobiological effects to understand fully the therapeutic potential of this phytocannabinoid in psychiatric disorders,” they conclude.

Reducing High-THC Cannabis Use

Could CBD-rich cannabis help people who engage in problematic use of high-THC cannabis? A March 2022 paper in Frontiers in Psychiatry  describes a survey out of France in which 11 percent of cannabis-consuming respondents (n=105) reported using CBD (mostly via smoked hemp-CBD flower) for the primary purpose of reducing consumption of illegal, high-THC cannabis. Of these, more than half reported a “large,” real-world reduction in high-THC cannabis use.

But the next survey question was even more interesting: when asked how, exactly, CBD use reduced overall consumption, most respondents cited “reducing cannabis withdrawal symptoms.” (Other options included “delaying first illegal cannabis joint of the day,” “using less illegal cannabis in joints,” and “increasing the time between smoking joints.”) This suggests they weren’t using high-CBD flower as a simple placebo or filler, but rather because the CBD actually diminished their desire for high-THC cannabis.

Again, these findings appear at least partially predicated upon the fact that in France high-CBD hemp flower is legal and high-THC flower is illegal. But the notion that CBD can ameliorate some unwanted side effects of too much THC is sound. In fact, earlier this year researchers in Colorado reported that cannabis with a balanced 1:1 THC:CBD ratio was associated with similar levels of positive subjective effects, but significantly less paranoia and anxiety, as compared to high-THC, low-CBD bud.

Nate Seltenrich, an independent science journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area, covers a wide range of subjects including environmental health, neuroscience, and pharmacology. Copyright, Project CBD. Reprinted with PAID permission.

Hemp Flower Production a Boost for Farming

Delta-8 and smokable flower are keeping many of the states hemp farmers busy in recent months. After several regulatory loopholes and a DSHS lawsuit the state has allowed for Delta-8 to be sold legally in Texas, but not without some confusion. Delta-8 is a legal cannabis product that comes from hemp but can still give the consumer a light psychotropic high entirely on its own. Many states have issued restrictions around the product, usually states with a strong cannabis market in place, while others simply ignore it altogether. Nonetheless, a high demand for hemp flower has been a lifeline to growers who planted hundreds of acres nationally in 2019 expecting a boost in CBD products, only to see the market prices plummet after a year of over production in many states.

According to Green Market Report, Hemp Benchmarks reported that after rising 4% in May 2021, the average cost per-kilogram price for delta-8 THC distillate fell 1% in June to $1,215. “Notably, both the low and high ends of observed transaction data – $900 and $1,650 per kilogram – were up compared to May.” In Georgia, Reginald Reese of Green Toad Hemp Farm told Hemp Benchmarks that delta-8 THC was here to stay. “The beauty of it is, Georgia [like Texas,] refused the [delta-8] ban,” he said. “We have the right as licensed hemp growers to use every part of that hemp.” Reese spoke to Hemp Benchmark saying that efforts to ban delta-8 THC are part of a “full-court press” from the businesses participating in licensed, state-legal marijuana industries, which do not want the competition. 

But that isn’t a problem in many states like Texas who have a fledging small cannabis program for 1% medical marijuana anyway. This has created a boom in Delta 8 sales across Texas and many other states.

Growing Smokable Flower

The Hemp Benchmark report stated“the study has documented over 168.2 million square feet registered for indoor or greenhouse production. This figure is up 328% compared to over 39.5 million square feet recorded in June 2020 and up 85% from over 90.8 million square feet ultimately documented by the end of last year.”

Nationally, and here in Texas, it seems that many outdoor grow operations have focused growing more greenhouse and indoor operations to fulfill the smokable flower demand. The Benchmark Report reported that smokable CBD Flower has continued to hold its value in the U.S. hemp wholesale market better than perhaps any other hemp-CBD product. “Flower grown indoors or in greenhouses also typically commands a premium price compared to that cultivated outdoors.” The study also concluded that flower prices leveled in June of last year around $300/pound that May. “Despite some reports of still-stagnant demand for CBG, the price for smokable CBG Flower rose 15% in June to average $326 per pound, exceeding the price for its CBD counterpart. The significant increase in the assessed price for CBG Flower this month follows an over 50% jump observed in May.”

If these indications from last years numbers continue to move in the upper mid $300-$400 range, then these are significant numbers that is welcomed news for most indoor farmers growing smokable flower.

Industrial Hemp in Texas

Since Hemp is regulated by the Texas Department of Agriculture, TDA, and THC tested for psychoactive properties. Most of our readers know already that a hemp crop with THC levels above 0.3% will be impounded and destroyed, so growers are mindfully cautious to not allow a mature rate over these levels.  “As an alternative crop, the hemp industry in Texas is still in its infancy,” Calvin Trostle, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension agronomist and statewide hemp specialist in Lubbock told AgriLife Today “There is a massive amount of education going on, but we’re still trying to determine what varieties are adaptive so that we can help producers avoid headaches.” Trostle also noted that it doesn’t take a lot of acreage to mass produce CBD into small outputs for the retail and wholesale market. “It doesn’t take many acres to produce CBD for the end-product,” Trostle said. “Around 25 acres producing average yields can fill 1 million bottles that contain about 1 gram of CBD.” 

Hopefully fiber will begin to expand here in Texas in the coming years. However, Trostle describes Texas conditions present problems for some growers. “The challenge we are trying to address in fiber and grain varieties is that most types are adapted to latitudes further north – Canada, Ukraine, Poland, France – and are very photo-period sensitive,” he said. “It’s not the heat units and sun they need like cotton, it’s longer summer days for growth and then increasing length of night to trigger reproduction. Plant reproduction is triggered far too early this far south.”

As for industrial production for hemp – fiber or grain, the main challenge we see here in Texas is that it will still be some time before established processing facilities are developed, and a boost of financial investment

CBD Crawl: South Austin

South Austin is known for its food trucks and funky vibe, tight-knit retail communities and lack of parking, and yeah, we’re the meat eaters.  But a new wave has hit South Austin, and Austin as a whole: CBD dispensaries.  Texas is still anxiously awaiting legalization.  As of Sept 1, the availability of medical cannabis was widened and the dam was broke on the legal THC levels for medicinal purposes, a win for those suffering from PTSD and cancer.  A step in the right direction.

For the time being, we must take our victories where we can.  Hemp and CBD were made legal to grow and consume in the state of Texas in 2019.  Industrious entrepreneurs eagerly seized the opportunity to fill a niche and pioneer the CBD startup. 

Locally, we have seen the rise of a new market, and pandemic be damned!  The owners of these boutiques have survived the long quarantine and are severely knowledgeable and, in many cases, you will find them on-site.

My first stop was American Shaman, where owner, Julien Lamb, greeted me in the well-lit, cozy showroom. 

“Shamanism has roots in many cultures, in terms of healing and bringing knowledge back to help people.  American Shaman is kind of a play on that.  I think that’s the inception of the name.”

“We used to grow this stuff back in the 1800s, and make clothes out of it.  And during WWII all the rope was made out of hemp for the Navy.  In Australia they’re doing 3D printing of houses with hemp paste.  It could replace a lot of industries but there’s a lot of investment in that pre-established stuff.  We must have progress, progress by going back to what we used to do.  I grew up with D.A.R.E and that kind of fear-based rhetoric is the opposite of progress.  The lumber industry was huge against growing and cultivation of hemp because it’s a threat.  Hemp has a 90-day growing cycle, you don’t have to chop down forests anymore.  There’s been a hundred years of ‘reefer madness’ thanks to Harry Anslinger and the DEA.  My favorite thing is, D.A.R.E. has actually sent out a message of, ‘hey, we’re sorry about all the things we said about marijuana’.  That was actually posted on social media.”

“I grew up with D.A.R.E and that kind of fear-based rhetoric is the opposite of progress.  The lumber industry was huge against growing and cultivation of hemp because it’s a threat.  Hemp has a 90-day growing cycle, you don’t have to chop down forests anymore. ”

“I grew up with D.A.R.E and that kind of fear-based rhetoric is the opposite of progress.  The lumber industry was huge against growing and cultivation of hemp because it’s a threat.  Hemp has a 90-day growing cycle, you don’t have to chop down forests anymore.”

Hit Julien up to get some quality CBD products for you and your pet,, 1901 W. Wm Cannon, Ste 109.

My next stop was Joy Organics, at 902 N. Lamar.  Owner, Danielle Smith, was on hand in the chic boho boutique and excited to show me the array of products they have available, from tinctures, gummies and dog treats, to energy drinks and bath bombs. 

A particular source of pride for Danielle is the launch of her own line of personal care products, Wild Bloom.  “I grew up conservative, and I want people to be able to feel comfortable about expressing their needs to achieve sexual wellness.”  Wild bloom is about inclusivity, and “facilitating a space of healing mind, body and spirit and empowering others to be their most authentic selves”.  Danielle actually had a hand in formulating the Wild Bloom CBD Pleasure Gel, a water-based gel that is safe for use with condoms and toys. 

Visit Joy Organics or to put together a holiday gift set for your loved one.

Next was MaryJae, at 2110 S. Lamar Ste E.  Jae Graham, owner and founder of Mary Jae, knows firsthand the positive effects cannabis can offer to those suffering from cancer.  In 2000, Jae and her brother shared cannabis with their father, Larry, who was diagnosed with cancer and cirrhosis.  When doctors questioned why Larry’s quality of life had increased so dramatically, Jae was reluctant to share the truth with them, fearing prosecution.  After all, Hispanics are more than twice as likely to be arrested for marijuana than whites.  But Larry lived another 10 years. 

This experience inspired Jae to “create a safe space where the elderly could come in, women, people of color, the queer community, everything that we are”.  Jae says that people have read Larry’s story, and they actually come in to her store seeking help for themselves or a family member.  Often, especially with older people, it is a moral issue.  They think CBD will get them high.  But as attitudes change and trends emerge, those in need will open their minds to the benefits of cannabis.

Stop in to Mary Jae, or check out their website,

This is the first in my series, “CBD Crawl” (think: “Pub Crawl”).  Hopefully I can entice you to visit one of these shops soon!

PODCAST # 10 Green Mountain Flower Co.

Bringing wellness to the world through ultra-concentrated terpene rich CBD oil derived from all natural, high quality industrial hemp. The couple own Green Mountain Flower Company – a premier CBD boutique located in North Austin off of 183 and Anderson Mill – and their mission is to curate a personalized experience to your journey into hemp-based healing.

Gene talks with Russell and Jesse about plans to expand the Green Mountain product line with many exciting additions on the way such as their new CBD Water which they have been working on for over a year. As well as actively expanding their wholesale market. 

Licensing and Registration for Consumable Hemp Products (CHP’s)

CBD Extraction is currently illegal in Texas, however over 400 farms are licensed to grow industrial hemp and many don’t know where their crops will be processed this year.  Here is our analysis of Texas draft laws to regulate Consumable Hemp Products (CHP’s) that were last month.  Texas Hemp Harvesters Association (TXHHA) provides Texas’ Hemp industry with unbiased, actionable education, plus members have access to a robust network and cutting edge intel! 

Department of State Health Services (DSHS) was tasked by the state legislature to develop rules that oversee the processing, manufacturing, distribution, and retail sale of CHP’s intended for human consumption.  Hemp seed and hemp fiber processing are regulated by Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) and are considered ‘non-consumable hemp products’.   A few things need to happen before extraction facilities and retail stores can apply for licenses.  The countdown began when DSHS published draft rules for HB1325 in the Texas Register May 8th, triggering the mandatory 30 day comment period.  After all comments have been reviewed the final language will be adopted into law, releasing license and registration applications sometime mid-July.

Undoubtedly the most controversial component of the interim rules is the unilateral prohibition of smokable hemp.  Many feel this is an overstep of legislative intent which prohibits manufacturing and distribution in HB1325, however DSHS has added ‘distribution and retail sales’ to their one sentence ruling on this topic. This prohibition has been loudly criticized since its inclusion in the initial draft rules last October, sparking public outcry across the state.  There are potential workarounds such as removing the word ‘smoke’ from labels…thereby removing the intent.  Keep in mind, the sale of raw hemp flower for other purposes remains legal.

Businesses planning to process, manufacture or distribute CHP’s are required to license each facility including storage sites.  The license application requires basic business information, a fingerprint criminal background check, GPS location, and $250 fee per facility for the initial license.  DSHS anticipates a 45 day review process for applications.

Although existing retailers are allowed to sell CBD and CHP’s, once these rules are finalized businesses must register with DSHS prior to possessing, transporting, distributing or selling their existing inventory.  Full responsibility for compliant products falls to the retail owner, including testing products with non-compliant labeling and providing samples for random DSHS inspections.  Employees and independent contractors working for registered retailers do not need to register independently.  It is unclear how long CBD shops will have to register with the state after the law becomes effective.

Both licensees and registered businesses are required to keep test results for a minimum of 3 years.  Testing is required for all ingredients to determine the concentration of cannabinoids, THC, and harmful residuals.  Accredited labs holding ISO 17025 certification can issue a final Certificate of Analysis (COA) which must be provided to DSHS upon request.  Products containing tested ingredients do not need to be retested provided the label has a URL and QR code which include all COA’s.  This applies to products manufactured in Texas and those imported from out of state. 

Enforcement has been left somewhat vague, noting penalties will be assessed based on compliance violation.  Packaging and labeling must conform; any products that are adulterated, misbranded, or otherwise violate health and safety codes will be tagged.  Violations will be written and sent via certified mail, stating the summary of alleged violations and penalty amount.  Owners will have a 20 day response period and are allowed to request a hearing. 

Overall “the proposed rules will positively affect the state’s economy and are anticipated to expand economic opportunities for individuals interested in the manufacture, processing, or retail sale of consumable hemp products.” states Donna Sheppard, CFO at Texas Department of State Health Services. 

Texas Hemp Harvesters Association is committed to building a responsible hemp supply chain in Texas, something that does not exist today.  Join Now!  By becoming a member you receive insightful, actionable education and have access to the largest legal hemp network in Texas.  Get connected to your regional supply chain through TXHHA today!