With the help of many great CBD retailers across the state, Texas Hemp Growers donated $15,000 to the Texas Hemp Legal Defense Fund in support of a lawsuit filed yesterday against a statewide ban on smokable hemp products.
Spearheaded by expert cannabis attorneys Chelsie Spencer, Susan Hays, and Matthew Zorn, the lawsuit, filed in the Travis County District Court, specifically challenges a ban on selling smokable hemp products, recently enacted by Texas Department of State Health Services.
The ban is among new rules adopted by DSHS concerning CBD retailers and the efficacy of consumable hemp products, which took effect August 2. Hit hardest by the ban are retailers and distributors selling products like pre-rolls, hemp cigarettes, and CBD vapes.
“This ban is a punitive kick in the teeth to Texas’ small businesses and enterprising farmers,” said Zachary Maxwell, President of Texas Hemp Growers. “Texas will forfeit millions in tax revenue to more competitive states by denying the industry full access to this federally legal plant.”
The $15,000 was raised earlier in the summer, and was deposited last month into the Texas Hemp Legal Defense Fund, which is managed by the attorneys working the lawsuit.
While the ban does not prohibit a consumer from possessing or using smokable hemp products, it handicaps a retailer’s ability to sell such products in-state.
“What makes this ban more confusing is that DSHS has acknowledged certain loopholes, like allowing whole flower to be sold as long as it’s labeled as a tea, food additive or something other than for smoking,” Maxwell added. “So if a retailer sells pre-rolls as ‘tea’ sticks, is the product suddenly okay, too? What is the standard and how creative will retailers get before someone gets nailed by DSHS?”
Over 1,700 comments against the ban were submitted over the summer by farmers, business owners, and consumers. The ban oversteps the spirit of the law, as adopted by the legislature in 2019 under House Bill 1325. That law states that only the manufacturing and processing of hemp products for smoking is banned, not distribution and retailing.
“We’re confident the attorneys behind the Texas Hemp Legal Defense Fund will make a strong case in court, so that this ban may be halted with a restraining order and possibly eliminated by a judge,” Maxwell said.
While not a plaintiff in the case, Texas Hemp Growers and its allied network of growers, processors and retailers are in full support of the legal challenge.
Zachary Maxwell, President
833-HMP-FLWR ext. 700