A hearing is scheduled on Wednesday, April 12 at 8 a.m. in which an important hemp bill will be heard.
Texas State Representative Briscoe Cain, a Republican and the chairperson of the Agriculture and Livestock Committee in the Texas House of Representatives, has introduced a bill, H.B. 2818, aimed at amending and adding to the state’s current agriculture laws for hemp cultivation. The proposed bill addresses various provisions related to the production, research, and handling of hemp in Texas.
Key points of the bill include:
- The department must submit amendments to the state plan to the USDA, incorporating changes in state or federal statutes or regulations within 120 days of the change taking effect.
- Higher education institutions in the state can receive a hemp research license from the department without paying fees or requiring permits for each location where hemp is grown, provided they meet certain conditions.
- Changes in federal statutes or regulations must be incorporated into the department’s rules within 90 days.
- The department can adopt different shipping certificates or other requirements for hemp samples, under certain conditions.
- Laboratories testing hemp must report cannabinoid concentrations and follow specific international standards and federal laws.
- License holders with suspended or revoked licenses can still harvest hemp plants under certain conditions.
- Immature hemp plants can be transported within and outside the state with the proper documentation and permits.
- Penalties for cultivating hemp without a license include written warnings, administrative penalties, and possible criminal charges for repeat offenders.
Rep. Cain’s bill will be open for public feedback, as well as industry professionals’ input, during a hearing scheduled for April 12, 2023. The hearing will take place at 8 a.m. in room E1.026 of the State Capitol, where all interested parties are invited to share their thoughts and recommendations on H.B. 2818.