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Tag: Delta 8

Dear Grandma, Lt. Gov Dan Patrick is coming after your Hemp Products

I hope that this finds you doing well, but your grandson has some concerns about your near future.

 

I’ve tried telling you in the past that he was looking into ways he could do this. I remember you telling me that there was nothing on the news about it, so it must be my wild imagination. Well, it’s on the news now if you didn’t see.

 

Our Lt Governor just put out a written list of legislative priorities for the next legislative session. One of them is exactly this grandma. Banning Delta 8 and 9:  Examine the sale of intoxicating hemp products in Texas. Make recommendations to further regulate the sale of these products, and suggest legislation to stop retailers who market these products to children.

 

Nana, we both know you’re no kid. And I hope you know better than to believe that anybody in this state was making products with the hopes that children would get their hands on them. And nobody is trying to argue that the retailers should even be allowed to sell to children. I know that you like the packaging that reminds you of some of your favorite candies, but it’s not like that to get kids involved. It’s like that because it reminds you of your favorite candies and it helps you decide which ones better suit your taste.

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And it’s not just the gummies and Dan and his senators will be going after. They will go after any flower products, oils, tinctures, and even the salves you use on your joints. When they say ban the intoxicating substance grandma, they mean to ban the very thing that gives you relief at the chemical level, not the final product level.

 

The legislature doesn’t know of a way of banning just the end product without allowing some sort of base product that could be used in a way they don’t approve of. They just find it easier to ban the substance altogether. And this substance, it’s naturally part of the plant. All of the work spent creating viable crops with a market that would buy any end product, gone. Out the window. 5 years of hard work across an entire industry will be wiped out. You’ll be left with nothing to use, and the economy will take a giant hit too.

 

Oma, I’m telling you that over 19 billion dollars in economic action will take a major hit, if not wiped out from the ban. I know that nineteen billion sounds like a joke number to you at times. But one of those big economic firms called Whitney Economics with a load of qualified professionals, reported last year about these numbers. Over one and a half billion dollars was spent on wages in this state alone. That’s over a hundred million dollars in social security funds that are helping to cover your current check from social security. Yeah, you can be mad about it possibly running out, but it won’t help if the state is slashing funds going into the pool of money.

Grams, it won’t help if they cut 5,000 businesses from the market and destroy 50 thousand jobs. It will put a toll on the unemployment system and possibly take a major hit on increasing the homeless population. It will take a hit on families that started these businesses with everything they own as investment to see it succeed. The government isn’t going to bail out a business it tries to cut.

 

Abuela, I know that you had access in other states and in one of the places you lived before retirement that it was the equivalent of a parking ticket for getting caught. It’s not like that here in Texas. If you have flower it’s class B misdemeanor which means a huge fine and jail time. If you have the gummies and oil, it’s jail time from being a felony. Por el amor de Dios Abuela, te ruego que tomes esto en serio. Al estado de Texas no le importa un carajo tu vejez.

 

Older people are making up a bigger population of the prison system grandma, and it’s coming from new arrests and not just people getting old in the system. I don’t want to see you becoming one of them. Those people don’t get almost any of their proper meds. Your special diet for your heart and blood sugar, doesn’t exist.

 

I’m not asking for people to be able to sell to kids. It hasn’t really been an issue. I don’t think anybody would have a problem with requiring only adults to be able to purchase it over the counter. We’re not needing marketing legislation either, grandma, it already exists to stop companies from ripping off other products’ trademarks. We both know kids like anything flashy and shiny, but that doesn’t mean we ban everything flashy and shiny does it?

Just remember this for the next 6-7 months Grandma as election campaigns start asking for your opinion. You have to let them know you don’t want to lose your therapeutic hemp products. You have to remind them that addressing imaginary or minor problems with a ban doesn’t fix anything. Holding people responsible for careless behavior that hurts others, that’s a solution.

 

Anyways Grandma, I can’t wait to see you again and have some of those cookies and that tasty pecan pie you make every time. It’s my favorite. Has been since I can remember you making it for me back when you said I was a big boy that didn’t need a highchair anymore. Hugs and kisses.

 

Te amo abuela.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jesse Williams

 

 

 

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:

 

1).https://finance.yahoo.com/amphtml/news/texas-cannabusinesses-surpass-8b-revenue-112000233.html

 

2).https://www.dallasobserver.com/news/hemp-shops-in-north-texas-and-beyond-are-getting-raided-by-police-17772122

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Brands of Blue Gummies Everyone Must Try

When it comes to covering hemp and cannabis in Texas, testing out new products is a perk of the job. Recently, I indulged in two brands of gummies that I highly recommend. Coincidentally, they’ll both turn your tongue blue. 

1. OnlyDank’s Forbidden Fruit Gummies

During the SXSW music festival in Austin, I ran into Albert, Founder and CEO of OnlyDank. OnlyDank boasts a collection of branded merch — including rolling trays, grinders and hats. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that this growing brand recently added edibles to its sleek product catalog. 

The Forbidden Fruit gummies by OnlyDank not only taste great, but they also reflect the quality the brand stands by. They are organic, vegan and manufactured through a solventless extraction process. They are also made in a Kosher Certified Facility.

The first time I indulged in one of these 10mg Delta 9 THC gummies, I noticed that it was fast-acting. I took it right before bed, and it quickly brought me to a mellow, contemplative place. While my mind was moving in an analytical way, I felt euphoric and not the least bit anxious as I dozed off into a tranquil slumber.

Based on my experience, I highly recommend heading to onlydankofficial.com to make a purchase.

2. Blue Buzzberry Gummies from Buck’A Buzz 

It was through Texas Hemp Show’s recent partnership with Weed and Whisey TV that I discovered the Buck’A Buzz gummies. Jerry “J-Man” Joyner, the streaming platform’s frontman, is involved in the venture and gave me a pack to try.

I have to give this brand an A+ on its marketing. For one, the packaging is colorful and attention-grabbing. Furthermore, a 5-pack of 10mg Delta 9 THC gummies costs $5 (hence the name “Buck’A Buzz”).

Yes, the concept is amusing, but the effects are no joke. When I took a Buck’A Buzz, I found the experience to be rather uplifting. For the next few hours, I felt chatty and upbeat.

If you want a gummy that will provide a quality sesh for yourself and four friends at a value, Buck’A Buzz is for you. Find them at buckabuzz.com.

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

THE GREAT DELTA-8 DEBATE

This year has been a wild ride for hemp, and cannabis in general in Texas and it’s not going to stop for a single moment.

Our 2021 year started off with a legislature that filed quite a few cannabis related bills in the House. Penalty reduction, medical cannabis, a hemp cleanup bill were the primary topics being pushed in the 87th regular session. Texas saw weak advancement on medical progress for cannabis, no penalty reduction measures signed off because of the desire to include delta-8 language, and the hemp cleanup bill failed for the exact same reason with even more debate on that delta-8 issue.

A committee hearing saw licensed hemp agencies and advocacy groups compared to cartels during hearings. Groups were visiting offices to prevent language designed to block delta-8 from inadvertently destroying the rest of the hemp market. And DSHS testified that they were under the presumption that delta-8 was illegal regardless of what the legislature did with the cleanup bill. Delta-8 was clearly all over the place and on most of the industry’s minds.

The majority of the industry moved forward after the regular session under the presumption that delta-8 avoided a death blow. Others had seen that DSHS was making their claim in the Senate committee hearing because they had held a hearing on the topic and practically nobody knew that it happened. That meeting was to review the controlled substances schedule of Texas to oppose the carved out exemptions. Their results were something that most industry talking heads and experts said, “flipped the definition of hemp on its head.”

There is definitely a problem with delta-8 in the industry and it’s not delta-8 itself that is the problem. Delta-8 is a result of failing to pass proper cannabis regulations while passing a hemp program with no cleanup bills federally or on a state level to address gaps in that program. Itself on its own is not a reason for danger. People creating products that they claim are delta-8, that are really delta-9 are an issue.

Think they aren’t? Wait until you have to be in front of a judge arguing that you were arrested for something that isn’t what is on the label and what was in the bottle is illegal in Texas, all while you can’t get a lawyer because it’s too expensive. People creating products that have byproducts in their extracts that are not conducive to healthy human living are also a problem. A CBD Oracle Lab Study article showed some Delta-8 products are 7700% over the legal delta-9 THC limit. That last sentence, google it and have your mind blown if you didn’t already know this.

Then the icing on the cake of these issues are lab results that have been falsified possibly by the product manufactures or another party down the line after lab tests were done. Products with metals in the original testing being eradicated from the lab result altogether, along with delta-9 thc being relabeled as delta-8 or completely removed from the results as well.Retailers using one lab COA for all of their products they ship and sell over the counter is another issue. A brownie should have its own COA, a gummy should have it’s own, and a tincture should have one as well that isn’t the same COA as the hemp product placed in the item. The item itself needs a COA, not just the substance infused into the product.

This still isn’t a need to remove delta-8 or any other THC isomer from the market. Removing it from the market is a knee jerk reaction, and one that shows no true thought was put into the decision. Elected officials can claim they have put lots of thought into this, but what does it mean if their thoughts are put aside for a few higher up figures, instead of representing their constituents?

What should the state of Texas do to set an example on how to wrangle this issue? Should we have labs that are audited by the state to ensure testing is done properly? Should we ensure that any product that is placed out for retail has a lab result from a Texas lab before it can be placed on shelves or sold to Texans if they have a physical location in state (we cannot do that to a product just passing through the state, as that would likely violate interstate commerce laws)? Should QR codes lead to a website presented database that is operated by the lab instead of the retailer or the wholesaler? How many counterfeit products could be weeded out of online systems and retail shelves that plan to sell to Texas residents?

This next legislative session we can expect to see varied interests coming out on all sides, including medical marijuana that are going to have input about this, and the hemp industry needs to be ready with answers and be ready to fight for their products. We are all in this together and we all need to push the industry forward together in a healthy and responsible fashion if we want this to work.

Naturally Hemps: Austin TX

The conversation on Delta 8 has been a continuous hot topic in the state of Texas with many already invested in the hemp-derived product pushing for regulation over prohibition in the vested interest of their companies, the industry and the responsible consumer. Darrell Suriff of Naturally Hemps discussed with Texas Hemp Reporter how Delta-8 and the looming possibility of it’s legal status looks from a company standpoint.

Naturally Hemps is an alternative solutions company under the umbrella of Naturally Distro which operates over 30 retail stores across Texas, Louisiana, and Tennessee to include the Austin Vape and Smoke franchise. The company manufactures a large variety of natural CBD, kratom, e juice vape and legal hemp related products out of their 30k square foot main manufacturing facility in Pflugerville. While they offer a variety of product on their name, Delta-8 specifically makes up about 20% of their gross business over the last 12 months moving into the largest growth category in the industry.

As this time period has also seen a tremendous amount of legislative process on the same topic, Suriff says it has been difficult to gauge business around potential legislation. The fluctuation of legality is costly not only as it comprises 20% of his revenue, but in considering the cost of entry into it as a manufacturer is quite extensive regarding liability, machinery, and wages for his 180 employees which all makes a huge impact on their bottom line.

While Delta 8 is fully legal in Tennessee, constant restructuring and vague state law keep him from selling it into his Louisiana stores. There are no clear cut guidelines currently for Delta 8 in our neighboring state and Texas leads between the two on education and communication between state officials and hemp businesses. While Delta 8 is currently still fits into a legal category following the lack of advancement or changes in the hemp bill last legislative session, it’s status still stands on shaky ground.

States that have fully legalized cannabis are historically the ones who try and ban it most as they get taxation on THC but not off of Delta 8. Right now Texas has enacted the Compassionate Use Program effective September 1, 2021 which allows patients access, through their physician, to prescription low-THC cannabis in the treatment of medical conditions like cancer, autism, PTSD, and seizure disorders. The single operating medical marijuana license holder in the state have been the leaders in the ban on Delta 8 which lead many to question if they will simply see taxation on a state level or full market control. A drastic shift in the industry and lawmaking would not only cause large companies like Naturally Hemps to take a massive hit, but consumers as well as Suriff states, “We believe people have a right to self medicate, treat, or relax [with all variations of hemp derivatives] just as they would in a glass or 2 of wine or beer.” And with that statement backs it with the push for regulation beyond minors into consenting responsible adults.

Darrell Suriff himself knows the firsthand benefits it can bring with chronic pain and the success of his business was built on his own personal success story. A little over a decade ago, Suriff suffered a broken back which led to permanent rods placed in his spine and persistent pain. His corporate insurance plan at the time offered many opioids at his disposal which led to a year-long addiction before he discovered the benefits of Kratom, CBD, and, later, Delta-8. He was able to then craft a daily regimen with these products which allowed him to function without pain and without the use of opioids or any other addictive drugs. From there he built his new endeavor of vape retails stores from an initial $26,000 investment into a $70,000,000 empire based on the products that saved his life – all organically with incremental growth.

With full understanding of the scope of all Delta-8 offers, and standing by what his own business and life is built on, Darrell Suriff hold his position alongside many other Texan hemp product manufacturers and retailers who call to maintain a regulated market on the product for the livelihood of Texans all around.

Navigating a Sea of CBD

CBD use has exploded across the country to the point where consumers are mind boggled at the sea of choices. Some patients who it could greatly benefit from CBD, decided early in the game that it’s over-priced snake oil because they bought a shady off brand at the local 7-11 two years ago that did nothing.  Thankfully since then, the market has shaken out to make room for legitimate brands that specialize in reducing inflammation, anxiety, PTSD symptoms, epilepsy, depression, neuropathy, spasms and more.

Even small towns across the country have a CBD shop these days because it is such an effective natural way to self-medicate.  They range from sleek and clinical to funky and fun, and

depending on what you are comfortable with you can find a shop to fit your needs. When choosing products, it’s best to consult with an expert, but doing your own research online is a great place to start.  A reputable manufacturer will provide lab tests; either a QR code on the bottle will lead to itemized batch identified results from a certified lab, or you can find them on the product website. Look for individual tests that show a current dated result naming the specific product you are considering.

Herbal Root Collective in Austin, TX brings their shop to farmer’s markets in the Austin area with an expert who can recommend the right product and dosage for you. With a background in medicine, founder and product developer Caitlyn Hendricks says that the majority of her clients are older folks who suffer from arthritis, bursitis, and high blood pressure. All their products are lab tested and offer a variety of applications from lotion and oil, to roll on, gummies and smokable flower.

Instead of Starbucks, take a field trip to the groovy CBD coffee and snack shop, LazyDaze In Pflugerville, TX. It is veteran owned and operated by Shaunie Haynes and Ken Nance, who offer an extensive variety of goodies from CBD infused Laura Palmers to Cool Beans, Dude coffee and pet treats. If you are in the industry or provide a service, check out their 420 B to B event in Jefferson, TX. You must contact the owners for an invite to this private event.

Restart CBD is an Austin dispensary owned and operated by three sisters who work with certified organic farmers to create alternative remedies to achieve self-healing. They offer a colorful array of edibles including salt water taffy, peanut butter nugs, cold brew, caramels and Delta 8 brownies and chocolates that make taking medicine yummy. 


CBG, or cannabigerol, like its cousin CBD, is a powerful non-psychoactive cannabinoid that can be helpful in relieving symptoms of glaucoma, treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), alleviating inflammation in multiple sclerosis, protecting the nerves in Huntington’s Disease, and inhibiting the growth of carcinogenic cells in the colon. According to a study on PubMed.gov, CBG had a positive effect on intraocular tension, a main risk factor in glaucoma. But unlike CBD and THC, CBG does not cause conjunctival erythema and hyperemia, making it a preferable treatment. Green Mountain Flower Company in Austin, TX offers a 1,000 mg tincture available in the shop or online.

From the plethora of CBD brands available, deciding what is right for your needs is a process of exploring and learning about this amazing medicine that can relieve a laundry list of symptoms. If your traditional medications are no longer satisfactory in relieving pain and suffering, it is worth the time and money to take your health into your own hands by getting in touch with a reputable CDB dispensary today, for advice and more information.