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Opinion: Top officials attempt to clarify new hemp law for prosecutors

by | Jul 24, 2019 | Opinion

S

ome district and county attorneys reportedly have begun to dismiss misdemeanor marijuana possession cases following the Texas Legislature’s passage of House Bill 1325, a law creating a legal path for the cultivation and marketing of hemp and hemp products.

Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and Attorney General Ken Paxton on July 18 sent a letter informing prosecutors that the Texas law, which takes effect Sept. 1, adopts the definition that differentiates between hemp and marijuana in the 2018 Farm Bill passed by Congress last year.

The farm bill, which delegates authority over the regulation, production and sale of hemp to the states, differentiates hemp from marijuana by setting a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) threshold concentration of 0.3 percent for hemp and anything above 0.3 percent for marijuana.

HB 1325 directs the Texas Department of Agriculture to pass rules requiring hemp producers to be state-licensed and to test their products to ensure 0.3 percent or less THC concentration.

By Ed Sterling • Members Services Director of Texas Press Association

For the full story, see the July 24 issue or subscribe online.

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