As the Texas hemp business begins to thrive, local industry professionals will need to step back and reevaluate their business models, as the ban on the retail sale of smokable hemp flowers is in full effect.
In 2019, Gov. Gregg Abbott signed Bill 1325, which legalized the cultivation, possession and sale of industrial hemp containing less than 0.3% THC Delta-9, a psychoactive cannabinoid found in in cannabis plants.
Under the new law, the state Department of Agriculture consulted with the state Department of Health Services to adopt rules governing the sale of hemp products. One of the rules, which the state began enforcing on August 2: Cannot sell hemp flowers for smoking.
“Overall I think the sentence is silly,” says Kirk Edmondson, owner of The Pharm Haus CBD at Richardson. “While we are trying to advance legalization, we are still getting the push from our government. In my opinion, it is definitely a step backwards.”
“People who create these laws do it with money in mind, not with people’s health. And that’s pathetic.” – Hunter Foss, an employee of The Glass House TX
The smoky hemp flower is hemp in its natural plant state. It looks almost identical to its relative, marijuana, but different genetic differences differentiate them. It is unclear whether the similarities between the two contributed to the ban on the smoky hemp flower.
CBD stores, tobacco stores, and other retailers can no longer sell smoky hemp products, but they can sell hemp consumables. And technically, someone could still buy hemp flowers in Dallas, as long as the label doesn’t say hemp is for smoking.
Hemp flower can be used in the same way as other herbs. The flower can be turned into a tea, lotion, food and many other products for daily use. This is not to say that all stores that carry hemp flowers will continue to wear it. This regulation could encourage Texas consumers to buy from illegitimate sources if their CBD and hemp suppliers of their choice do not comply with the ruling.
Hunter Foss, an employee of The Glass House TX, says many of his clients are upset by both the ban and the general climate of the cannabis industry in Texas.
“I have customers who have come into the store using hemp and CBD for epilepsy, fibromyalgia, stress and anxiety,” says Foss. “And personally, I regularly use CBD flowers and other hemp products to help with severe panic attacks and sleep.”
Companies that continue to preserve hemp flowers will need to find creative ways to market their flower and stay away from terms like “smokable.” Edmondson said The Pharm Haus will continue to move forward as long as it stays in compliance.
“As a business, we’re not going to get angry,” Edmondson said. “Although all our products come from the plant, we do not depend on the ‘smoky’ flower to survive. We will continue to offer our buds as tea and herbal commodities. [and] what the customer does when he leaves my store is none of my business. “
Some people choose the smoky hemp flower instead of CBD oil because they find that the effect of the flower is more satisfying and the impact on their mental, physical and spiritual health is stronger.
“I personally wish the state government had a more open mind when it decided to ban a plant that has given so many people the chance to live in peace,” says Foss. “People who create these laws do it with money. In their minds, not in people’s health. And that’s pathetic.”