Texas hemp farmers will benefit from this new rule starting Sep. 1

An important change in state law will take effect Sep. 1 for Texas’ hemp farmers.

Due to conflicts over Delta-8, the “Hemp Fix Bill” died in session. However, one beneficial change was added as an amendment to the sunset review bill for the Texas Department of Agriculture.

Starting Sep. 1, Texas’ hemp licensees have 30 days to harvest their plants from the time an official state sample is collected. The current harvest window is 15 days from the time that sample is collected.

This extra 15 days allows plants to mature an additional two to four weeks, depending on the complexity and size of the harvest, beyond the state test.

Here’s the text of the rule change:

Section 122.201(a), Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows: (a)  A license holder shall harvest the plants from a plot not later than the 30th [20th] day after the date a preharvest sample is collected under Section 122.154 unless field conditions delay harvesting or the department authorizes the license holder to delay harvesting. This subsection does not prohibit the license holder from harvesting the plants immediately after the preharvest sample is collected.

Growers should take advantage of this new 30-day window when mapping out their testing schedule.

Most varieties have an 8 – 10 week flowering period. If you do an official test at four weeks into flower, and it clears, then you could continue flowering your plants to about 7 – 8 weeks, because you would still be in the 30-day harvest window.

All regulations after the official state test only examine the delta-9 THC concentration. Most hemp varieties have been bred to not exceed 0.3% delta-9 THC.

It’s always good practice to do your own potency tests during flower to determine the optimal harvest time. You should also do a final potency test after you have dried and cured your flower.

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