Skip to main content

Tag: Texas Hemp News

Best of the Texas Hemp Reporter: 2 Year Anniversary

In the past 24 months we have published some great information on the revolving door

that is Texas cannabis. From Chelsie Spenser smokable hemp ban coverage, to Lisa Pittman’s

interview with Sid Miller, the pages of the Texas Hemp Reporter have covered a lot in the last two

years. In honor of our 2nd birthday we thought it would be nice to recap a  “In Case You Missed It” 

article to commemorate the body of work thus far.

We discussed our History of Texas hemp in an issue discussing the story of George Trout, a

Texas pioneer in hemp production in Raymondville Texas in the mid 1930s. This was in

Issue # 3 of 2020 where we also covered the magical mystery tour of the DEA’s new

rules on Delta-8 with Andrea Steel & Lisa Pittman’s article,

 “Smokable Hemp Goes Puff”.

That same edition we also introduced Sweet Sensi in Austin Texas as they make the

candies that make us feel good. In fact, Greg Autry would later grace us with his

appearance on the cover of Issue # 5 in February of 2021. Our 2nd edition covered

Herring Bank and their experience in the cannabis-hemp industries of finance and

banking as well as profile Texas Dept. of Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller.

Sid has a great interview with me on Podcast # 37. 

Issue #4 covers the 1st Annual Taste of Texas Hemp Cup with Patrick & Liz.

The event’s artwork made the cover of the December edition of 2020. The Hemp Cup

was a celebration of Texas’ first harvest of “legal-cannabis” with an expert judging panel

like Kym Byrns, Leah Lakstins and Max Montrose. With live glass blowing, vendor tents,

food, music, and hemp tastings the Hemp Cup was a victory for Texans breaking ground

on the first year of producing legal cannabis plants.

Calvin Trostle, the Last Prisoner Project, Lee Vernon, Heather Fazio, Lisa Pittman,

Mr. Good Bud and his “Greg Autry method” would kick off the new year in February 2021

with an informative issue covering seed to sale and the supply chain, along with

hemp trademarks, and a preview of NOCO including the announcement of the

Texas Hemp Awards winners.

We also had time in 2021 to interview Steve DeAngelo, Tommy Chong,

Freeway Ricky Ross, Cheech Marin, James Belushi & Kymani Marley.

Earlier this year we spoke the all the Agricultural Commissioner candidates,

profiled Jack Herer and interviewed his son Dan, covered another Texas Hemp Cup

 and documented the history of 420 and the cannabis culture in our last edition.

A big thank you to all of our advertisers and our writers for making this publication possible.

We hope that you are enjoying having an actual real print product covering hemp and

cannabis here in Texas. Hang in there TEXAS, we will get there. The day of legal green

recreational cannabis is not too far down the road. We have already gotten our veterans

 and cancer patients medicine and will get chronic pain and doctors discretion in the

coming session. So keep on picking us up, support us if you can, and you can always

listen to the Texas Hemp Show wherever podcasts are available.

Remember, we are all affecting the culture. Make your voice heard, reach out and

say hello and tell folks about the Texas Hemp Reporter. Now, can someone

please put me in touch with Willie Nelson or Matthew McConaughey?

CBD and Pets

Dogs.  We feed them, love them and keep them healthy. But what about the things we can’t control? A thunderstorm or the sound of fireworks outside of your house could make for a frenetic evening for your pet. You want to do whatever you can to soothe them.

Tracy Fleming, owner and operator of Beautiful Me Skincare Studio in Austin, tells us about her best friend, Snoodles.

“We got Snoodles when he was just barely old enough that you can adopt them. He was not even a foot long, you put him on the ground and he would literally JUMP over grass that was 3 inches long, like he was a little rabbit. He’s ¾ long-haired chihuahua and ¼ Shih Tzu. He is so sweet, he loves everybody, even children. We give him 50 power-kisses every day on his cheek and he’s not disturbed, he just kind of rolls his eyes. I was a single mother and I was looking for a dog. My daughter wanted a chihuahua she could dress up because we had just watched Beverly Hills Chihuahua. When we got him, his name was Snickerdoodle. He was the only boy left and he had the most personality of all of them.

“Snoodles freaks out when there’s thunder, lightning, storms, any kind of loud noises, even dings and beeps. Anything like that freaks him out, he shakes like a leaf! I mean, I’m talking tongue out, drooling, eyes completely dilated, shaking, crazy. We use a hemp extract from HealthQuesthemp.com, owned by Austinite Brendan Findlay. What’s cool is that they do CO2

extraction and they have a 3rd party that tests the profile and potency of all of the products. Their farm is in Colorado and everything is grown without pesticides. He really benefited from the product. We were under full-cannon, fireworks, holding him, and he wasn’t even shaking! That was when I knew that stuff was special. We just put a few drops of the liquid tincture on his paw and he licks it up. It takes about 10-15 minutes to kick in and then he starts chilling out and relaxing. What’s great about the tincture is that you can put it on any type of dog treat, or in their food or water, but putting it on their paw guarantees that they’re going to consume it. It’s a natural reaction for the dog to want to get it off by licking it.

   

“He’s 11 years old now. He lives with four cats who clean him, and he takes care of their ears, it is so cute! He is happy and very spoiled, of course!”

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

Looking for a Hemp Friendly Bank? Here Are 5 Questions to Ask.

The recent string of good news for hemp-related businesses started with the 2018 Farm Bill, which removed hemp (defined as cannabis with up to 0.3% THC) from Schedule I controlled substances and making it an ordinary agricultural commodity. Financial institutions can now bank hemp-related businesses in states that have the appropriate infrastructure in place to comply with the provisions of the Farm Bill.  Good news if you’re looking for a hemp friendly bank, right?  Lots of financial opportunities.

But also, lots of potential confusion over rules and regulations.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen this in action as farmers and other hemp-related businesses have been dropped by their banks across the country.  Even long-term relationships have ended with banks kicking customers out because of what they see as potentially risky situations.

Where most banks go wrong is by following a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” approach.  They think that if they don’t know what their customers are doing, right or wrong, then the risks can’t hurt them.  This strategy is just waiting to backfire.  Of course, they’ll find out what they didn’t want to know, and have to write their customers a check and tell them to leave. It’s a good way to get into trouble and a terrible way to partner with customers.

Financial institutions are not exempt from having internal controls in place to determine the risk profile of the entity based on the nature of the business.  This is especially true in the rapidly growing world of hemp-related businesses, where having those controls is key to ensuring businesses can bank safely. How do you make it more likely to bank successfully?

A.S.K. (Always Seek Knowledge)

What questions should you ask to gain that knowledge? Let’s look at five you should be asking your financial institution to make sure you’re banking hemp safely.

1. Does your bank have a dedicated hemp vertical with dedicated hemp subject matter experts?

A hemp friendly bank may have a “hemp person,” intended to meet all the needs of their hemp-related customers. What if that person gets stuck in traffic, or gets the flu, or is too darn busy being the only hemp person to properly serve their customers, let alone keep up with all of the constantly evolving regulations?

To really be able to partner with their customers in this ever-changing environment, a bank needs to have an entire vertical with people solely dedicated to hemp-related businesses. And those people need to be experts on hemp.  Does your bank have just a toe in the water or are they all in?  Do they have a policy for lending or taking deposits in the hemp space?  Is their leadership not only on-board, but have they also accumulated the necessary knowledge and embraced banking hemp?  If any of the above is a “no”, banking with them should be a no-go.

2. Has your bank written a compliance program?

The worst answer here would be, “What’s a compliance program?” Just as bad would be, “That’s a good idea!  They should do that!”  Yes, they should.  Just being aware of compliance doesn’t come close.  Knowing compliance rules isn’t good enough either.

To really bank hemp safely, your financial institution needs to create a compliance program that demonstrates mastery of the rules and regulations.  Being fully compliant is crucial to having a successful business and your bank should help you get there.

3. Is your hemp friendly bank vetting you or just inviting you?

Since the dawn of time, banks have wanted your money.  More money is better, no questions asked.  Until now.  When it comes to banking hemp safely, the best thing a hemp friendly bank can do for you is to make sure you’re as good a partner for them as they will be for you.  They should want you as customers for the relationship you can develop as much as for the money you can deposit.

If your bank is ushering in your business down a red-carpet flush with rose petals, be wary.  For your safety, they should be carefully vetting you.  It can only help your business, and with the current challenges in the market, it’s what a true partnership needs to flourish.

Business cannabis stock leaves marijuana success market price green profit growth charts graph money display screen up industry trend grow higher quickly

4. What hard questions are they asking you?

Are they asking to see your testing samples? Your disposal procedures?  Your COA?  Your license? Are they asking you if you’re up to speed on the latest regulations?  Are they asking if you have a safety and security plan in place that is accessible to employees?  Are they doing the research to ensure your business has no operational ties to marijuana-related businesses?

If they’re asking these questions, it may not be the easiest thing for you, but it’s the best thing for you.  They’re watching out for you. If they’re not, they might be honing their “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” skills. Or they may not even know the right questions to ask.  Neither is good.

5. How well does your bank know your business?

It’s important to remember the good things that come from business partners really knowing each other. There’s a difference when a bank has deeply researched your business, the competition, and the overall category; when they’ve been to your place of business, sometimes traveling long distances to be there; when your connection to them is more relational than transactional.

We’d even go so far as to say that they should feel some ownership in your business.  They don’t actually, but it should feel that way, like they’re a true partner and not just a place to put your money.

You’re putting a lot out there: your reputation, your hard work, your good name, your funding. The least your bank could do is make sure you’re banking safely.  To that end, we’ll leave you with one thought:

When it comes to your hemp-related business, make sure your bank is S.A.F.E:  Staffed with Subject matter experts who are All in, Fully compliant at Every level.

The key to certainty?  Ask them. Follow the advice of the classic Chinese proverb:

“He who asks a question remains a fool for five minutes. He who does not ask remains a fool forever.”

10 Texas hemp testing labs to have on your radar


Perhaps you’ve just entered the market for Texas Hemponomics or maybe you’re a veteran in the field already. Whichever one you are, here are 10 Texas Hemp Labs you can keep an eye on.

The list is not all inclusive, and is listed in alphabetical order. These are labs that are showing up to conventions and trade shows to showcase their abilities.

ABS LABS, LLC

In 2018 ABS launched cannabis testing consulting services, providing licensed laboratories throughout North America access to innovative, compliant cannabis analytical methods, laboratory support, and leading testing technologies. AS of today ABS continues research and development for new applications in environmental sciences and healthcare, meeting the demand for accessible, innovative solutions ABS is headquartered in the Dallas, Texas metroplex area of Carrollton. For more information and how to get in contact with them visit https://altbio.com/abs-labs/ or call (972) 241-1388

cannabis oil cbd

ANALYTICAL FOOD LABORATORIES, INC.

Founded over 25 years ago, in 2018, AFL joined the Tentamus Group, which was founded a decade ago, providing clients access to a global network of labs. Accredited and licensed Tentamus Group tests, audits and consults on all products involving the human body. Tentamus Group is represented in over 50 locations worldwide with more than 2,500 highly-trained staff members working in over 2 million square feet of laboratory and office spaces.

AFL can assist you with product analysis and development, trouble-shooting, quality assurance and compliance issues. Routine laboratory analysis is offered on a per test basis and to meet customer needs. AFL is an ISO 17025 accredited lab, and also holds accreditations with USDA, NELAC/NELAP and is registered with the FDA. Procedures comply with official methodologies including FDA, USDA, AACC, AOAC, AOCS, ASTA, EPA AND USP.

AFL is located in Grand Prairie, Texas.  For more information about AFL, visit https://www.afltexas.com/ or contact afl@afltexas.com – 972-336-0336

BLUEBONNET LABS

Bluebonnet Labs had the honor this past year to be the official lab for testing of the submissions entered into the 3rd annual (2021) Texas Hemp Awards. BL has been serving the hemp community since 2020. Bluebonnet labs yields a quantitative analysis to determine the potency of Cannabinoids and Terpenes. Contaminants such as Pesticides, Heavy Metals, Residual Solvents, Microbiological and Mycotoxins are carefully analyzed using baseline values established as unsafe or harmful and reported to a high level of accuracy.

BL offers cannabinoid potency testing, residual solvent testing, pesticide testing, microbiological testing, terpene testing, heavy metal testing, mycotoxins testing, along with filth and foreign material inspections. BL is AL2A certified and ILAC MRA accredited.

BL is located in Farmers Branch, Texas and can be reached at 214-903-4405, https://www.bluebonnetlabs.com/ and info@bluebonnetlabs.com

EASTEX ENVIRONMENTAL LABORATORY, INC.

Eastex has been in the laboratory game since 1986. Eastex Environmental Laboratory is 100% employee owned – and they feel that ownership of their name, their quality of work, and their relationships is what sets them apart from the competition. Eastex offers along with hemp testing, (surface & core) complete soil evaluation of surface and subsurface samples per customer specifications, ground water evaluations of wells and public water systems, and water quality of lakes, ponds and creeks among other items.

EEL is Accredited for Chemical Sampling through the Perry Johnson Laboratory Accreditation, Inc. ALong with their various testing packages, Eastex provides some consultation work to help ensure farmers are getting the most out of their time with their crops.

EEL has two locations in Texas, one in Coldspring and the other in Nacogdoches. For more information visit hemp.eastexlabs.com and https://www.eastexlabs.com/ 936-653-3249 hemp@eastexlabs.com

IONIZATION LABS

Founded by Cree-Crawford, Ionization Labs is the testing service used by the Texas A&M Agrilife Extensions Hemp Program. Ionization Labs is an ISO-17025 Accredited Potency Testing Lab and AL2A certified.The unique thing about Ionization Labs is their CANN-ID testing system which allows for farm to market in-house testing along with lab verification upon sending in samples.

This allows for anyone partnering with Ionization labs to test their products immediately upon either harvest in hand or on the shelf products to initially know what they really have. From there an official sample is sent to Ionization Labs and their team verifies the results. This eliminates having to send multiple samples over and over and wait for turnaround. Just test the samples you want to test and send in the ones you desire for verification.

Ionization Labs is headquartered in Austin, Texas and can be reached at 737-231-0772 or find them online at https://ionizationlabs.com/

KJ SCIENTIFIC INDEPENDENT TESTING LABS

KJ Scientific LLC is a certified Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) and Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) with a global reach. KJ Scientific was founded with a mission of ensuring human and environmental health through rigorous testing and analysis of the chemicals and products introduced to the market. To uphold these high standards, they became the first product testing lab in the world to exclusively use new, innovative in-vitro technology in their chemical testing products and services outside of the hemp sphere.

KJ Scientific utilizes advanced chromatographic instrumentation and detection techniques to test and analyze each sample to ensure they’re legally compliant and safe for market consumption. Consulting and Direction – their  services cover every aspect of vertical production of CBD from extraction to final validation for the market. KJ Scientific is part of the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP) and has ISO/IEC 17025 certification.

KJ SCIENTIFIC INDEPENDENT TESTING LABS is located in Georgetown, Texas. For more information visit https://kjscientific.com/service/hemp-cbd-lab/ or contact them at karla.johanning@kjscientific.com or 512-590-0080

NEW BLOOM LABS

Founded by Jesse and John Kerns, New Bloom originated in Tennessee and expanded into Texas once the state passed it’s hemp program in 2019. The lab is ISO/IEC 17025:2017 certified. NBL is capable of testing plant material, crude oil,concentrates, isolate, distillate, kief, topicals and ingestibles.

NBL built an entire customer service department in their company. What this means is that their dialogue with their customer doesn’t end when they deliver a certificate of analysis. Instead, when a client needs a consultation or help interpreting results both their customer service team, as well as technical staff are available to help consult you on your results. NBL also commonly helps customers create a testing and compliance program that’s the right size for their business. Not everyone needs to test as much as some others might. NBL will help you identify your best practice needs for testing crops and products, and keep you from ordering unnecessary testing.

New Bloom is located in Dallas, Texas. For more information visit https://www.newbloomlabs.com/, email john@newbloomlabs.com or call 1-844-TEST-CBD

SANTE LABS

Santé Laboratories is an Accredited Hemp Testing Laboratory in the State of Texas. Santé Laboratories has a combined 35 years of experience in analytical chemistry, drug development and pharmaceutical sciences. Santé is committed to serving the hemp and CBD industry safeguarding all end-users through premium, high quality, and transparent testing. Santé Laboratories is currently holding the ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accreditation.

Regardless of phase in development and borrowing from relevant expertise in cannabinoid formulation sciences, Santé Laboratories can provide flexible drug delivery and manufacturing solutions to overcome solubility, room temperature stability, and absorption challenges to quickly transition into the clinic. In addition to leveraging the lipid-based nanoparticle delivery system, Santé Laboratories can perform rapid formulation screening studies which can be developed into candidate formulations to be evaluated in nonclinical and first-in-man studies.

Sante Labs is located in Austin, Texas. For more information on their lineup of services visit http://www.santelabs.com/ or contact them at 512-800-9117 and http://www.santelabs.com/

TPS Labs

TPS refers to their business as “Your Crop’s Dieticians.” TPS Labs has been operating in Texas since 1938 and helping farmers in various fields of vegative growth during that time. TPS Labs are one of only a few labs in the world that still use CO2 extraction to test nutrient availability. This process is very labor-intensive but mimics how plant roots extract nutrients from the soil, stating that’s why it produces the best results.

Growers utilizing TPS Labs HEMPlan will have a complete picture of what soil nutrients are immediately available and what’s in reserve. Customized fertility recommendations will show customers how to correct deficiencies, and sustainable practice recommendations will show them how to unlock tied up nutrient reserves.

TPS Labs’ program gives growers an edge over the competition by providing advanced notification of possible heavy metal contamination in their soil. They perform a complete 32 element heavy metal analysis on your soil to make you aware of any potential problems.


TPS Labs is located Edinburg, Texas. For more information visit https://www.tpslab.com/hemplan or contact them at 956-383-0739 or info@tpslab.com

VETERANS SCIENTIFIC LABORATORIES

Veterans Scientific has the honor of winning the best Texas-based Hemp Ancillary Support or Services category for the 3rd Annual (2021) Texas Hemp Awards. VSL was co-founded by Garvin Beach, B.A.S. and is currently led by James W. Johnson Jr as the CEO. Both gentleman are Air Force Veterans working in the cannabis space today.

VSL offers potency testing, moisture content, heavy metals, aerobic plate count, staph auerues, water activity, pesticides, coliforms/E Coli, yeast/mold, terpenes, residual solvents salmonella SPP, mycotoxins on hemp/cbd products. VSL also offers a line of fiber testing on hemp products.

Veterans Scientific Laboratories is located in San Antonio, Texas. For more information visit http://www.vetscilabs.com/ or contact them at 210-682-9883 or info@vetscilabs.com

Representing Cannabis: Failed Insights from a Supposedly Pro-Cannabis U.S. House of Representatives Candidate

Running for office in a democratic nation is one means through which you can throw in your lot and take a shot at effectuating change. However, achieving success in such an endeavor often requires the exchanging of one’s ideals for cash and capital, as we explored in my previous article about lobbying.

If a candidate needs a certain amount of cash to achieve their objectives, and the only way to access that cash is by making concessions and promises, well then, a candidate isn’t really running on their own platform are they?

Candidates’ platforms are built atop the stacks of cash, or bands if they’re lucky, that are provided by donors, and that capital comes with caveats. (For those not in the know concerning street terms applied to cold hard cash, a “stack” is a thousand dollars, while a “band” is ten thousand dollars.)

To explore how lobby money and the pro-cannabis position of a candidate interplay, I made an attempt to present you with an interview featuring an individual running for the U.S. House of Representatives, to represent a Congressional District of Texas.

Will Texas come around before Washington when it comes to cannabis?

When they had an opportunity to receive a gratis consultation from me on how cannabis can help their campaign, they were motivated to schedule the taking of my time. When I presented them with an opportunity to explain how they will help cannabis if their campaign is successful, they did not give us any of their time to explain why.

Following is a script of questions I suggest you present to any politician that tells you they are fighting for cannabis and want to use cannabis to bolster their platform. If they answer, get their permission to send it to me for prospective publication in a future issue of THR. Adjust the terms in brackets as needed for the politician you are presenting the questions to.

1-In 100 words or less, let us know the platform of your campaign, and where cannabis fits in.

2-What is your position on cannabis in Texas?

3-What is your position on cannabis nationally?

4-What can a member of [the U.S. House of Representatives] do to support cannabis?

5-Would the [U.S. Representative from the 21st Congressional District] in Texas have any sway or influence concerning where the TX State Legislature goes with cannabis in 2023?

6-How much money does it cost to mount a campaign for the [U.S. House of Representatives]?

7-If/when you take a few stacks or even a band from a donor, how bound do you feel to their ideology?

8-How does a lobbyist make you understand that the money you are receiving is conditioned on you voting a certain way?

9-If, for example, a “national” cannabis advocacy group founded by a Colorado law firm funded by Colorado cannabis companies were to offer $50,000 towards your campaign on the condition that you oppose micro-grower licenses and support high barriers to entry in the eventual Texan recreational cannabis market, so that the Colorado cannabis companies can wedge their way into then conquer our market, would you accept it? What factors would you consider before deciding?

10-What do you think Texans can do today to advance recreational cannabis tomorrow?

Well reader, there you have it, some data about how lobbying and politics interplay in the cannasphere, and how that might affect where Texas is going in that regard. Keep this in mind as you take the proactive approach. Reach out to your representatives and communicate your desire for recreational cannabis, micro-grower licenses, and the option to self-cultivate. Lounging on leather, seat back on recline watching the world pass by does have its appeal, however, doing so with legal recreational cannabis would be exponentially more appealing. Let’s do this, Texas.

-Michael John Westerman, Esq.

www.mjwestermanlaw.com

Landlord/Tenant Attorney, Business Consultant

Digital Preview: April Edition

The Spring Edition of the Texas Hemp Reporter profiles Texas Lab Testing that we recommend , a History of the 420 in pop-culture, The East Austin CBD Crawl, CBD & Pets, meet the new faces of the Texas Legislature. Will a “Changing of the Guard” improve cannabis law reform in the Lone Star State?
Also banking and Hemp, Actor Jason Gann of “Wilfred”, Dispensary Etiquette, the top 10 labs you should know about in Texas and more.

3THE NEW ISSUE WILL BE AVAILABLE ACROSS THE STATE AFTER APRIL 3RD

NOCO Hemp Expo 8th Annual

Business Conference and Investment Summit
March 24

Join us for the NoCo Hemp Expo Business Conference and Investment Summit — an exclusive one-day event featuring company founders and CEOs, industry leaders and experts, qualified and accredited investors, analysts, and financial professionals. At the Summit, we’ll cover the current hemp business and investment landscape, insights on trends and strategies, the global market, and evaluating opportunities for the future.

Farm Symposium & Ag Tech Forum
March 25

The NoCo Farm Symposium & Ag Tech Forum will present what’s next for hemp farmers and is dedicated to helping educate producers about the agribusiness of hemp and cannabis-related agriculture. Topics will range from regenerative-organic techniques, soil health, genetics, harvesting and processing innovations, new technology and equipment, updated regulations and compliance rules from the USDA, FDA, state departments of agriculture and other issuing authorities, and more.

The WAFBA Awards of Excellence Dinner
and Other Special Networking Events

This year’s NoCO8 will debut a new WAFBA Awards of Excellence Dinner on March 24 to recognize hemp industry founders and innovators of distinction. In addition, NoCo8 will present a Kickoff Conversation and Welcome Reception on March 23. Capping off the event, NoCo8 producer Colorado Hemp Company invites all attendees to its 10th Anniversary Celebration & After Party!

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.

Vet the Farm, Don’t Bet the Farm!

An Interview with Frank Schultz

by Misty Contreras

TPS Lab, a mainstay of the Rio Grande Valley and the farming industry for over eight decades, wants to help hemp and marijuana growers achieve success and higher yield of crops.   TPS Lab President Frank Schultz explains the importance of research and patience as many new farmers and entrepreneurs dip their toes into this emerging field.

Texas Hemp Reporter: How did you begin in the field of soil testing, can you give us a bit of your origin story?

TPS Lab: The lab was established in 1938 by Dr. George Schultz (no relation). I am the third-generation president and conservator of an 80-plus year-old institution, starting as a client in the early 2000s.

THR: You have clients all over the globe, but here in Texas, what would you say is the single, biggest challenge a farmer will face in terms of crop health?

TPSL: Education. We often get calls from people who say they are interested in growing hemp but it emerges during the conversation that they have done little to no research into the plant, its unique requirements, possible markets or the industry in general. Unfortunately, we have seen and heard firsthand accounts from people who lost millions of dollars due to lack of experience or faulty research. Some “bet the farm” and lost it.

Even experienced growers, from gardeners to well-established farmers, often do not appreciate the costs, infrastructure required and especially the labor-intensive nature of growing CBD industrial hemp. (We saw a reduction in hemp acres grown with our clients in 2020 from 2019, largely due to the realization of the labor required.) Additionally, experienced growers of other crops are accustomed to few changes in plant varieties and genetics year after year.

However, new hemp genetics are being developed continuously to enhance oil percentages and characteristics, and suitability for specific growing conditions and regions. This means that a grower must constantly be on the lookout for new varieties to better suit his growing conditions and accommodate dynamic market demands for the latest desired CBD isolates.

A BIG mistake some of our clients made was in retaining marijuana consultants to advise them on growing industrial hemp. With the understanding that genetics is where it all starts and is key to the capacity of cannabinoid production and composition (or lack thereof), the growing practices for each are quite opposite in several ways:

Money bag on the background of agricultural crops in the hand of the farmer. Agricultural startups. Profit from agribusiness. Lending and subsidizing farmers. Grants and support. Land value and rent.

● With marijuana, the varietal genesis is typically C. indica L., due to its penchant for producing high levels of THC. Plant stress is purposely induced during the middle and latter stages of development to further stimulate the production of THC. This is done by limiting fertilization, water, light or causing any other factor to induce stress.

C. sativa L. is the varietal genesis of industrial hemp and typically has a lesser penchant for producing THC. However, THC production is still stimulated by plant stress. Accordingly, it is essential to limit stress in order to limit THC content to 0.3% or less to have expectations of a harvestable crop – even for sativa.

The good news is that we can do much to limit stress and encourage production of CBD by providing balanced nutrition at critical times during plant development and to at an extent, managing water. We can even compensate, to degrees, for other stressful conditions such as weather. With marijuana, stress is encouraged.

But there’s more: Because you get a harvestablecrop does not mean that you get a sellablecrop! Over the past several years, we’ve seen processor’s demands increase for percentage of CBD and even for particular isolates of CBD (CBG, CBN, etc.) – and now, ∆-8 THC (in Texas). The appropriate genetics, stress management, cultivation practice, and correct, timed nutrition and water are the answer.

THR: Can you describe your operation in Edinburg?


TPSL: We are a consulting agronomic laboratory. We’ve been in the same location for decades and have current technology analytical instruments. We are open to the public and encourage growers large and small to bring in their samples or visit with one of our consultants to get answers to their toughest questions.

The main and unique features of the lab are its proprietary methods of soil and compost testing, emulating the way plants take up nutrients in any soil type and calibrated against actual plant uptake (Plant Natural® Soil & Compost Tests); its Ask The Plant® plant sap analyses based on proprietary plant nutrition standards and its What’s In Your Water Becomes Part Of Your Soil® irrigation and spray water analyses for quality management.

Test results alone have little meaning to most growers, so our main product is the experience and ability to interpret lab data and provide our clients with specific interpretations and recommendations for their specific crop and their particular growing circumstances. Accordingly, every test and recommendation is custom and written by a senior consultant – no “shotgun” approach.

THR: Is Plant Natural Innovations your company as well? Did you formulate the CSL+ Organic Fertilizer?


TPSL: Plant Natural® Innovations was established as an independent company to provide formulations of some recently-available and highly-beneficial products which are not generally recognized by growers. The lab’s most senior consultants proposed, developed and designed CSL+ and other organically- based products based upon their decades-long experience in soil health and plant nutrition. Product lines will expand as development continues.

THR: Can you tell us about your “Ask the Plant” program?


TPSL: The lab began testing plant sap (petioles) in 1964, making it an early pioneer in private-lab plant testing. One of my predecessors, Dr. Albin Lengyel of Phoenix, Arizona, started testing plant sap in cotton in the late ’40s and later extended it to many other crops around the country. Another legacy from Dr. Lengyel is the Plant Natural® Soil & Compost Tests.

Originally, Ask The Plant® (ATP) was intended to be a season-long “dynamic” nutrition program for growers to allow them to apply appropriate nutrients in appropriate amounts at critical stages of crop development for best ROI by periodic in-season testing, based upon the physiology of the crop. However, we get many calls sometime during the season from growers who are having serious problems and need help immediately.

Money with sheet of marijuana close-up on background of one hundred dollars with an artificial ray of light, high quality image. Thematic photos of hemp and cannabis

Accordingly, much of ATP has evolved into “911” calls concerning physical crop damage (such as by wind, sandstorm or hail) or sudden manifestations of insects, disease or nematodes. We have had remarkable success in guiding our clients past these, and on to doing well by the end of the season.

By the way, HEMPlan® is a comprehensive, specialized and extended version of ATP, exclusively for industrial hemp growers, based, in part, upon a decade of experience with Canadian growers, plus decades-long experience in other exotic and high-value crops around the world.

Again, HEMPlan®, as is ATP, is intended to be a pre-season-to-harvest program, but as with ATP, we get calls from growers sometime into the season about problems they’re having. Unhappily, some call us too late for us to be able to salvage them.

THR: Do you have a success story you’d like to share of a farm you’ve been able to help?


TPSL: Yes. Some years ago, we were working with sugar beet, potato and mustard (plus other) growers in the Pacific Northwest – fairly high-value crops at the time. They had been relying on state extension agents and their local co-ops for advice for years. And it had stopped working – to the extent that several generations-old family farms were facing soon bankruptcy.

Our VP of Research, formerly a tenured professor at the University of Maine, thence a Senior Research Scientist with the USDA – ARS, Weslaco, went on a field trip, together with our COO, to visit with some of our clients up there. He told me that as a [cloistered] academic, it was the first time he ever visited with people who were the end-recipients of and directly impacted by his research.

One day, he was sitting in the kitchen of a farmer, whose farm was in dire straits, when his wife leaned over and whispered, “please help us!”, our VP said that he suddenly realized that what he did seriously impacted real people. Before, it had been simply academic.

This farm, and one other facing bankruptcy, and others did well by the end of the season.

It wasn’t magic – it was simply applying long-established agronomic principles combined with recent discoveries which seem to have been ignored or forgotten by the institutions.

THR: What do you enjoy most about your work?


TPSL: I really enjoy hearing the success stories and how we help improve the clients’ circumstances – sometimes even to the extent of saving their farms.

All considered, it’s not a bad way to live.

For more information on TPS Lab’s custom plant, soil, water and other testing and consulting services, visit TPSLab.com or call 956-383-0739.  They can also be visited at 4915 W Monte Cristo Rd, Edinburg, Tx 78541.

For more information on Plant Natural® Innovations plant nutrition products, visit Plant-Natural.com or call 956-380-4050.

Hydroponics in the Heights

Houston Heights is home to Hydroshack Hydroponics – a full-service hydroponics retailer who prides themselves in the firsthand knowledge they have imparted to their customers over the last 10 years of business.

Sprouting from a small hydroponics start up in the front office of their warehouse, Hydroshack has since grown into the biggest store of their kind in Houston, dealing in high end soils & nutrients, lights, and accessories for hydroponic growing. They deal in primarily indoor grows for all gardening needs but added in hemp as the industry cropped up in Texas. The owner, Chris Powers, always knew some form of legalization would happen in the state and built the company up to be a known entity when that time came.

Following the passing of the hemp bill, his business was revived having been in competition with big online retailers. What sets Hydroshack apart is their solid client base they’ve built and the fact that they have become a destination with their own fully licensed in-house grow operation that serves as a firsthand tool to both learn and teach about growing the crop with hydroponics. They do not grow to harvest but simply provide a live setup of a handful of plants where customers can experience what they sell in a functional setting.

The majority of Hydroshack’s clientele is based in the greater Houston area with about 10% comprised of online retail and customers they draw in from nearby states and other Texas cities like San Antonio and Dallas. As Oklahoma passed legislation to legalize cannabis, their smaller retailers began running out of products and began coming into Texas to restock. It also serves as a hub to their Louisiana neighbors who do not receive as much internal support of the industry and cross over into Texas for a more pleasurable shopping experience.

Indoor grows allow for a more controlled setting and cut out many of the external variables that have led the initial outdoor growing season in Texas to get off to a rough start such as unpredictable weather and terrain, pests, nutrient and pH balance, and varying climate zones affecting the harvest window. Powers and his crew caution new clients with big outdoor grow plans to consider indoor operations as well as start small with 10-100 plants as they’ve seen firsthand the excitement turn big investments into big failures quickly. The team works to teach people how to grow, that there is science behind it, and how to utilize the products they carry to cultivate an operation best suited for their own personal needs.

The two most important factors in an indoor hydroponics grow according to Hydroshack is climate control and lighting, both requiring the biggest investment. Many growers underestimate the importance of temperature and humidity control disregarding seeing the need for mini-splits and dehumidifiers.  The secondary setup decisions like soil type or coco coir, nutrients, pest control, etc. are available in store to most variables and involve more personal preferences behind the choices. The staff at Hydroshack Hydroponics provides knowledgeable consulting to get people started down the right path with growing hemp and building a foundation to create a customer-retailer relationship, not just a sale.

With so many varying methods and opinions on growing as well as such regional diversity in the agriculture, the online case studies do not always fully translate to one particular growing situation. Hydroshack starts from the basics with new clients and custom develops a growing plan based on their own personal needs. The process can get intricate and in the interest of investing in the growth and success of their customers they work not to overwhelm in technique or investment. These relationships often lead to a reciprocal benefit learning directly from customer experiences as well. Powers cautions new growers to be patient and take their time, making sure not to rush into big decisions and big risks; there is plenty of time and opportunity to tap into the cannabis industry and be successful without overstretching and potentially losing everything.

Another thing Powers and his team have found is that farmers tend to have the agricultural background with crops like soy but find transitioning to a flowering plant a bit different as far as the technique, external factors and the market itself. They advise them to start on a manageable, small test environment as well and build on that to grow success. The majority of their clients choose to farm out of a small indoor grow tent and range into standard room sizes to warehouses which they foresee the popularity of exponentially growing when full legalization finally happens.

Transitioning from indoor to outdoor grows is a careful process that involves careful cloning and propagation as well as nutrient balance to get the baby plants sprouted and to size to transfer outside for higher success. In this window in between the transition is where Hydroshack comes in with a lot of their consulting at the next level.

Building and nurturing these relationships has allowed this Houston homegrown business to thrive and continue to support the local grow community with it – an instance of patience and opportunity paying off in their own growth.

CBD & Hemp Banking Programs

While the legalization and participation in the hemp industry is growing in the US, the lack of banking support with funding these businesses remain a national issue. Herring Bank is making strides right here in Texas to change that narrative with their CBD & Hemp Banking Program.

Herring Bank is a FDIC insured institution that must adhere with federal, as well as state regulatory requirements.  In banking the Marijuana Related Businesses, Related Entities, Hemp and Hemp Derivative businesses, Herring Bank, if not in compliance with federal and state regulatory requirements, faces the potential of severe penalties.

The bank began serving the Marijuana Related Business, Related Entities, Hemp and Hemp Derivatives industry in April 2019 and has since built a multi-state program that now services over 20 states. Headquartered in Amarillo, Texas, Herring Bank has branch locations in Texas, including Grand Prairie, Vernon, Azle, Clarendon, Seymour, in Colorado (Colorado Springs) and in Oklahoma (Altus).  Herring Bank has also grown outside of their branch footprint to other Texas cities such as Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and McAllen in which to serve the hemp and hemp derivative industry. Herring Bank’s Marijuana Related Business, Related Entities, Hemp and Hemp derivatives strategy has positioned the Bank to take advantage of opportunities that may be available with the passing of any future cannabis legislation.

Andrew Escamilla is Herring Bank’s Hemp and Hemp Derivative Product Manager. With nearly 15 years banking experience behind him, Mr. Escamilla has the knowledge and excitement to assist businesses in obtaining banking services. Herring Bank has, and continues to, learn about and reach out to the industry.    Mr. Escamilla explained that the regulatory/legal environment and the required resources and infrastructure required to support a compliant program. Mr. Escamilla explained that it is important for a bank to understand the industry to know the challenges experienced by industry businesses and individuals, to ascertain the importance of providing a banking service solution as well as identifying the various state compliance requirements the industry must adhere with.

Mr. Escamilla explained that industry clients must provide certain information to the Bank in order to receive access to banking services.  The information provided to the Bank is carefully reviewed by the Bank prior to providing any banking service to a potential client.  The submission of the information is important to ensure that Herring Bank meets its federal and state compliance requirements as well as it allows the Bank to monitor the respective client’s adherence with its applicable state’s compliance requirements.  Mr. Escamilla explained that information prospective clients must submit, includes such things as, information about their respective location(s), the intent of business, type of products being sold, the business structure, business ownership details, supporting documentation such as lab reports on crops, state licensing, etc. 

Mr. Escamilla explained that the Banks willingness to Bank the entire spectrum of cannabis related businesses, of all sizes and types.  Mr. Escamilla enjoys working with and assisting, potential and existing hemp and hemp derivative clients with their banking needs.  Mr. Escamilla believes in staying up to date with what is occurring in the industry and continuing to learn as much as he can about the industry, including the associated federal and state laws that impact the industry.  Escamilla has seen many customers come in who have been closed out 2-3 times by banks before they get to him, just trying to operate but encounter limited tolerance of the industry or simplistic pilot programs that cannot fully support their needs.

Herring Bank paves the way in cannabis related product banking to help the industry.  Herring Bank’s moto is “Building Relationship for a Lifetime”, which is something the Bank lives every day.  Herring Bank would like to establish a relationship with everyone in the hemp and CBD industry.  Mr. Escamilla would love to meet you and discuss what Herring Bank can offer you.

Red, White and Green. Is Texas Playing it safe?

The State of Recreational Cannabis (Is Texas Playing It Safe? Or Just Missing Out?)

Texas Cannabis Laws are conservative at best in the Lone Star State. New representatives at the Capitol need to be voted in for a real cannabis program to begin to take place in Texas.Be sure to know your candidates this coming Spring Election in 2022 to act with your Vote on Cannabis.

The fact that the Lonestar state is still vehemently anti-cannabis (at least in legislation at the state level) despite being surrounded by a sea of green is a true testament to the independent Texas spirit. It seems Texas is more likely to secede from the United States than it is to legalize recreational cannabis.

America’s coalition of green – or pro-weed – states is vast, snaking from Washington state down the West Coast, then east to Arizona and New Mexico, up over the Texas panhandle into Oklahoma; and from Arkansas, it goes straight north to Canada and all the way along the Gulf of Mexico to Florida. And that’s not including several other Southwestern states, as well as most of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states. 

As of this writing, a grand total of 18 U.S. states have legalized recreational cannabis for personal use, including our immediate neighbors Colorado and New Mexico; and three others, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, are part of 18 states that allow only medical cannabis (and, therefore, have the infrastructure to fully legalize in the coming years.) 

The 12 states without some kind of cannabis industry, aside from hemp and CBD, are now the minority. We can’t blame it on politics either. Even blood-red states like Montana, Alaska, Alabama and West Virginia have some version of legalization.

But don’t think Ol’ Big Red is bone-dry on the sticky-icky. Far from it. Consider these numbers:

Given the likelihood of steady, easy transport of cannabis into Texas from these red-eyed neighbors (in addition to the cartel-sponsored black market already operating here), the state of about 30 million people likely has, at any time, more illegal cannabis than several other legal states. Just look at population alone: Less than 750,000 people live in both Alaska (legalized in 2014) and Vermont (2018); Montana’s (2020) population is just over 1 million. 

If that probability doesn’t convince you that Texas is one of the most weed-heavy states, consider the average age of a Texan is just 34.6 years old, a Millennial; and Millennials love getting down on some ganja. A new Gallup survey says as much as 20 percent of those belonging to my generation say they currently use cannabis. But that number doesn’t include much of the other 80 percent too stoned to complete the poll.

Perhaps Texas is just being strategic in entering the country’s multi-billion-dollar legal cannabis market that is reported to reach $41 billion in annual sales by 2026. That means it could soon be about the size of the craft-beer market. In 2020 alone, legal sales across the U.S. hit a record $17.5 billion, up 46 percent from 2019. Colorado, one of the first to sell recreational cannabis, grew by 26 percent to hit $2.2 billion. California, America’s largest cannabis economy at $3.5 billion, increased sales by more than half a billion dollars. (Yet illicit cannabis sales, via the black market, are estimated at more than $100 billion every single year.)

But here’s some relief: At least local governments are getting on board. Several of Texas’s most populated regions have decriminalized possession of cannabis, including the cities of Austin, Dallas, Cedar Park and El Paso, as well as major counties (Bexar, Harris, Travis and Williamson). 

Then there’s hemp, at least. Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, Texas politicians are embracing the hemp-derived CBD market, expected to reach $23.7 billion in 2023.

And at least Gov. Abbot is starting to come around to this magical plant. When he’s not crusading to ban books from children, he’s doing what he can (but not all he can) to help Texans suffering from cancer and PTSD. In 2021 he very compassionately signed a bill into law that allows the increase of the current 0.5 percent THC cap on “medical cannabis” to a whopping 1 percent! Tax dollars well spent. 

If this legislation is any indication of cannabis progress in the Lonestar state, start saving your beer money for a trip to New Mexico or Colorado. Because it’s going to be a long while before legal weed comes to Texas. 

Editors Note: At Posting of this article the State of Illinois just released tax revenue statement on their states Cannabis Tax revenue surpassing the states alcohol tax. Illinois Collects Nearly $100 Million More From Marijuana Tax Revenue Than Alcohol In 2021, State Data Shows

Profiles in Hemp Farming: Robot Pharmer

By Misty Contreras

Texas Hemp Reporter: When did you begin farming?

Robot Pharmer: We began farming in September of 2018, immediately after our licenses were granted. The founders are Jeff Ely, Isaac Ramirez, Josh Wheat and Brandt Hamilton.

THR:Where are you located?

RP: Our farm and extraction lab are on a 20-acre property in Broken Bow, OK. The first of our 2 dispensaries, Robot Pharmer Dispensary, is located in Broken Bow as well. Broken Bow is in the southeast corner of the state near the borders of Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. Our 2nd location is in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We have a warehouse on the edge of downtown that has our Tulsa dispensary, as well as our cannabis kitchen, a processing lab and a small container grow for pheno hunting. 

THR: Can you describe your growing/processing operation?

RP: We grow indoor and in greenhouses. We have 5 indoor grow buildings consisting of 40 lights each. We grow organically in raised beds using living soil. We have three 3000-sq. ft. greenhouses also grown in living soil.

As far as processing, we process our own product through hydrocarbon extraction. We began the extraction portion of the business about 1 year in (Sept 2019). We make concentrates such as diamonds, batter, budder, shatter and sauce. We also utilize these concentrates to make vape cartridges, RSO and edibles. Our live resin edibles are a favorite here in Oklahoma! We recently won 2nd place for edibles at the High Times Oklahoma Cannabis Cup for our Robot Pete’s Live Elixir. It is a live resin syrup that can be added to any drink or beverage. We have an amazing chef, Branden Bentley, who has taken marijuana edibles to another level! Chef Branden utilizes real fruit purées and other great ingredients to create the best-tasting edibles around. On top of the great flavor, we use live resin cannabis oil. Most cannabis edibles are made using THC distillate. The problem with THC distillate is that many of the other cannabinoids and terpenes are lost through the distillation process. Live resin is a full-spectrum cannabis oil. Whatever was in the strain of flower shows up in the live resin oil. This is why the effect of our edibles is more like the effect you feel from the actual flower. 

THR: And what is the origin story of Robot Pharmer?

RP: Our partner, Josh Wheat, created the brand Robot Pharmer originally as a cannabis culture brand featuring great artwork, apparel, posters and stickers. His vision was to create a global cannabis brand to help de-stigmatize medical cannabis and the industry as a whole. He decided a character would be the perfect way to do this. That is when the idea of Robot Pete was born…a robot “pharmer” who could educate people on all aspects of medical cannabis. Once he came to this revelation, Josh was on a mission to find an artist that could pull off his vision. Eventually he came across John Ortiz, an artist out of Los Angeles, California, that had helped several mainstream streetwear brands get off the ground.  With Josh’s vision and John’s artistic talent they created a series of art pieces that would eventually become the base of the company we have built here in Oklahoma. 

When this opportunity came about in Oklahoma, the 4 of us decided to partner up and apply for licenses. Brandt owned a property with a couple buildings and a couple cabins. We applied for our 3 licenses and to our surprise we were approved for all 3! I say surprised because at the beginning it was taking a real shot in the dark. No one really knew if the state of Oklahoma was going to do what it said it would do and approve anyone who qualified or, because of the volume of applicants, only accept a certain number of us. Luckily for us it was the former. As soon as our licenses were approved Jeff and Isaac moved up from Austin, and Josh moved down from Seattle. Together, the 4 of us began building and growing. After our first crop was ready, Jeff and Josh drove all throughout the state meeting dispensary owners and getting our flower on to their shelves. That is how it all started. Today we are on the shelves of over 100 dispensaries in the state. 

For more information, visit robotpharmer.com, or in person at 1212 E 1st St in Tulsa, or 208 S Park Dr in Broken Bow, OK.

TX Hemp Reporter blooming Circulation in Texas, Expanding to Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.

The Texas Hemp Reporter this November will be blooming itself across the Lone Star State in time for Harvest Season. With the recent expansion of Houston Texas market to receive the September edition, the Austin TX based Cannabis publication is headed north and south this November adding in two more metros totaling over a 1000 smoke shops in Texas. Dallas and San Antonio will begin receiving the free magazine in area CBD stores and smoke shops this holiday season. The expansion is a good thing for the growing Texas cannabis and Hemp market. With recent public awareness about new legislation and readily available medicines , cannabis has a growing fan base with fellow Texans.

The Texas Hemp Reporter is expanding the magazine across the state and will be offering a subscription base option for growers and fans of the industry publication living in more rural areas of the Lone Star State.

The producers of the magazine also host a popular podcast in the Texas arena , The Texas Hemp Show discuses legislative concerns, banking challenges, and often interviews business professionals in the Hemp space around the State. Tommy Chong, Sid Miller, Freeway Rick Ross, and recently Cheech Marin appeared on the podcast that also currently airs on local Talk Radio News Radio 590 KLBJ.

For more information or to advertise your business with the radio show or the magazine reach out to Publisher and Host Russell Dowden at 512-897-7823 or email texashempreporter@gmail.com for more details on how to be a guest on the show or have your business profiled in the magazine.

To Boldly Grow where no Man has Grown Before: Patrick “Picard” Stewart on Pot

     “The thing about Star Trek is you’re never dead, really. There’s always a way to bring you back to life”

     “People think I’m getting high everyday. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Sir Patrick Stewart is 78 years old and exploring the first UK’s initiative of the benefits of cannabis-based medicines led by Oxford University. “Four years ago I was filming in Los Angeles, I was examined by a doctor and handed a note to obtain legal cannabis to treat arthritis in both of my hands.” After fuddling through greasy balms and ointments Patrick found a spray that alleviated almost all pain and inflammation in his hands. “There are no side affects while Advil, Aleve, and other NSAIDS’s cause pressure on the liver.”

“This is an important step for Britain in a field of research that has been for too long held back by prejudice, fear and ignorance.”

In England in 1533 King Henry the 8th mandated that landowners grow allotments of hemp, Elizabeth the 1st later increased these quotas with punishments for not fulfilling.  In 1842 Irish physician William O’ Shaughnessy a medical officer in Bengal brought several specimens of marijuana back to England to study medical benefits. Cannabis prohibition began in the English colonies before the central island, yet the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission of 1894 judged “little injury was caused to society by the use of cannabis”

By 1928 Britain herself had classified cannabis as dangerous a drug as opium. Across the pond Attorney Jeff Sessions had this to say “I reject the idea that marijuana being sold in every store will make America a better place” while opioid addictions caused over 2000 deaths last year in Massachusetts. Sessions likened marijuana to heroin,

 Meanwhile back across the lake even though medical marijuana is now legalized in the United Kingdom “It still seems perverse that opioid prescriptions are such high levels when medical cannabis could be a much more safer system” Patrick went on to say “I see no reason why the legislation is not widened it so that doctors are allowed to prescribe it”

Whether Willie Nelson, Barack Obama, Whoopi Goldberg, Matthew McConaughey, Snoop Dog, Morgan Freeman, Sting Sir Patrick Stewart is one in a long line of pro-marijuana benefits.

Stewart has acted in “BluntTalk” donning a lobster costume, laughing at a Christmas hat,

“I believe this program at Oxford might just begin benefits for millions of people”