Texas lawmakers overwhelmingly approved an effort to allow farmers to grow industrial hemp in the state.
Advocates anxiously watching from the House gallery let out a resounding cheer with the passage of House Bill 1325 by Zavala County Democrat Tracy King.
King said though Congress de-scheduled industrial hemp, states were still required to set up their own regulatory agencies before they allowed farmers to grow and process the plant for its many byproducts, including CBD oil.
“And a lot of people get confused about that but the federal hemp act simply allows each state to opt-in to the program. So we have to pass this to have industrial hemp grown in Texas,” King said.
Coleman Hemphill is the president of the Texas Hemp Industries Association.
Hemphill said by requiring the Texas Department of Agriculture to set up a regulatory program, patients will be able to know exactly what their hemp products contain and where they came from.
“Where a lot of hemp products have not had the same traceability, now there is a big opportunity to ensure to customers that these are safe products,” Hemphill said.
House lawmakers will take one more formal vote before sending the bill to the Texas Senate.