In December 2018, the Agricultural Improvement Act, also known as the Farm Bill, was passed. Part of the bill removed hemp and non-psychoactive hemp products as being controlled substances, as a result, legalizing hemp-derived products such as CBD oil legal in all 50 states.
The legislation stipulated that CBD oil and other hemp-derived products should contain no more than 0.3 percent THC to be considered legal.
While, yes, it is legal to buy CBD in Texas, there are a few factors that might make your purchasing experience complicated.
History of CBD in Texas
Confusion set in during the first few months of 2019 where Texas, along with a few other states, had not yet developed legislation to put the federal law into effect.
So, until June 2019, when Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into a law legalizing hemp into Texas, there was a six month period where CBD oil was legal on the federal level but still illegal in the state.
With the law in full effect, the Texas marketplace was flooded with unlicensed CBD products. From a legal standpoint, this sudden change was nothing less than chaotic. Law enforcement had to figure out how to separate legal CBD possession from Marijuana possession, a misdemeanor offense since 1973.
State forensic labs were feeling the brunt of this frustration from several different district attorneys who believe that statewide testing for the quantity of THC in possession cases be implemented. Most public labs in Texas didn’t have the equipment or procedure to properly quantify the amount of THC.
While it was legal to purchase CBD products from one of the many rapidly growing retailers in the state, new and curious consumers were putting themselves at risk. Texas was still cultivating the proper regulation, testing and enforcement on the grower’s end.
This coupled with a lack of consistent and efficient forensic testing, new and possibly uninformed consumers entering this marketplace ran the risk of being incarcerated for buying CBD products with an unknown quantity of THC and being detained while state forensic labs could determine what the product was.
A Step in the Right Direction
In March 2020, Texas amended its laws to include licensing and testing on the agricultural end in line with the FDA’s guidelines and is now handled by the state’s Department of State Health Services (DSHS). Texan growers will have to apply for a new license to be able to grow industrial hemp.
Medical CBD Usage in Texas
Medical CBD oil has actually been “legal” in Texas since the 2015 Texas Compassionate Use Act (Senate Bill 339), deemed the use of CBD oil with a higher THC percentage than .3 percent to be prescribed by a doctor to patients suffering from epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), autism, terminal cancer, and incurable neurodegenerative diseases. At the time, only three CBD processing facilities were authorized to produce only medical-grade CBD products.
You can obtain a Texas Medical Cannabis card (High CBD/ Low THC) here.
Only time will tell how Texas manages its burgeoning CBD oil industry. For now, Yes, it is legal to go to your local CBD oil apothecary and purchase everything you need to ease pain, sleep better and to manage your anxiety.
But, for the time being, it will pay to do your due diligence and research just exactly what it is and form whom you’re buying from.