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Tag: Consumable Hemp Products

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.
Russell Dowden
Publisher, Texas Hemp Reporter

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

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


Licensing and Registration

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


DSHS Retail Hemp Registration is required if you:

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


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


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

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


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


Setting Up Product Inventory with AWS Wholesale

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


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


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


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


Setting Up Rack Space and Shelving Solutions

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

Acquiring a Sign for the Building

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

Lease Assistance in the Austin Area

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


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

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!