Skip to main content


A Call to Action

1.    IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED: Texas Retailers Need Help Regarding Smokable Hemp

On May 8th the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announced their intention to prohibit the retail sale of smokable hemp products. This rulemaking goes beyond the original bill, Texas HB 1325, which states, “processing or manufacturing of a consumable hemp product for smoking is prohibited.” The state of Indiana included the prohibition of retail sales of smokable products into their hemp law. This language was blocked by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, due to this prohibition violating the interstate commerce clause found in the 2018 Farm Bill. We MUST make a legal challenge to the DSHS misguided rule.

Additionally, you can help by making a comment during the official comment period through June 8th. We can use all the help we can get to send notes or place calls about this issue. Contact us directly if we can help you craft your comment by 6/7/2020 deadline.

Questions about the content of this proposal may be directed to Rod Moline, Ph.D., R.S., Section Director, at (512) 231-5712 in the DSHS/CPD Policy, Standards, and Quality Assurance Unit.

Written comments on the proposal may also be submitted to Rod Moline, Ph.D., R.S., Section Director, Mail Code 1987, Texas Department of State Health Services, P.O. Box 149347, Austin, Texas 78714-9347, or by email to

To be considered, comments must be submitted no later than 31 days after the date of this issue of the Texas Register. Comments must be: (1) postmarked or shipped before the last day of the comment period; (2) hand-delivered at 8407 Wall Street, Austin, Texas 78754 before 5:00 p.m. on the last working day of the comment period; or (3) emailed before midnight on the last day of the comment period. If last day to submit comments falls on a holiday, comments must be postmarked, shipped, or emailed before midnight on the following business day to be accepted. When emailing comments, please indicate “Comments on Proposed Rule 19R074 Hemp Program” in the subject line.

2.    Thusfar, FDA and USDA have not deemed hemp grain as generally recognized as safe for animal feed (GRAS). This recognition is critical in order for hemp to become a high-volume low-cost commodity for livestock feed. 

3.    The FDA has neglected its statutory duty to regulate CBD and other non-intoxicating cannabinoids, delaying these products from being allowed into the larger food and beverage markets. Action against the FDA would encourage the passage of the House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) sponsored legislation (H.R. 5587) that would require the FDA to regulate CBD and other cannabinoids as a dietary supplement.

4. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has allowed the illegal censorship and inability to conduct marketing for hemp business and non-profits on social media platforms like Facebook. Facebook policies put hemp business and non-profits at a distinct disadvantage compared to other entities and must be challenged. 

By joining or renewing your membership with the TXHIA, you become part of a unified voice for this critical industry and will help ensure the promotion of hemp as essential business. 

Kindest regards, 
Coleman Hemphill President, 325-226-4538

The Modern Story of Texas Hemp

The modern story of Texas hemp started in Ft. Worth at the RPT Convention in 2014. I have yet to see a more passionate message than the one delivered by the conservative activist speaking about the virtues of the valuable crop which once grew, “luxuriously” in the state. Three sessions and four years later HB 1325 (Texas hemp law) was passed unanimously. Despite no formal laws on the books until 2019, due in large part to the education provided by the Texas Hemp Industries Association (TXHIA) formed in 2014, Texas has grown into one of the largest retail consumer markets for hemp products in the country. Texas is late to the game, but as with all thing agriculture and business, Texas is set to be a major player in the hemp industry.

In 2015, compounding pharmacies and health food stores like Peoples Pharmacy in Austin, started selling hemp salves, tinctures, and edibles to customers seeking the health benefits offered by these products. Sales around the state continued to grow despite hiccups caused by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) misunderstanding new rules relating to the Texas Compassionate Use Program (the limited Texas medical marijuana program). In 2016, DPS raided Peoples Pharmacy, confiscated materials, and threatened to arrest the pharmacist and the business owner Bill Swail. Fortunately, following discussions with the TXHIA, DPS chose not to prosecute and returned all the products citing the legal ambiguity that existed with the legal definition for hemp found in the 2014 Farm Bill. This case ended up becoming the precedent sited in more than a dozen cases that the TXHIA successfully resolved over the next three years.

Similarly, in 2018 the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) proposed banning CBD from as a food additive. Using testimony from the HIA v. DEA lawsuit in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the TXHIA was able to convince DSHS to kick the can on their proposed rule and set the stage for HB 1325.

The advantage Texas maintains with the slow political process is the ability to piece together the best language based on other states and enforcement (or lack of enforcement) taken by state agencies. Fundamentally, the position of the TXHIA has been that hemp should be treated like any other food or agricultural commodity. HB 1325 solidified this position by stating that, “products containing one of more hemp-derived cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, intended for ingestion are considered foods, not controlled substances or adulterated products.” This language positions Texas as one of the best states to manufacture consumable products and helps push national legislation (HB 5587 – Rep. Collin Peterson) that would require the FDA to regulate hemp derived cannabinoids as a dietary supplement for human or animal consumption.

The one misstep Texas made in HB 1325 is adding, “the processing of manufacturing consumable hemp product for smoking is prohibited.” This language is out of step with the 2018 Farm Bill, conflicts with interstate commerce, and is uncharacteristic of Texas that is known as a pro-business state. The DSHS has taken this language a step further by proposing rules that would prohibit the, “retail sale of consumable hemp products for smoking.” Banning, “processing and manufacturing” is different than prohibiting “retail sale,” and businesses are lining up to challenge the unfunded mandate that paints outside the lines.

Prior to 2019, and more pronounced today, you will find some of the largest and most successful hemp businesses are founded by Texans. You can find hemp products in grocery stores, department stores, farmers markets, and gas stations though out the state. ‘Go Texan’ stickers coming soon.