- Selling and purchasing hemp-derived CBD products in Texas have been legalized since 2019 when lawmakers passed House Bill 1325(1).
- A patient with a qualifying medical condition may register with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to legally purchase low-THC cannabis, which is legally defined as a cannabis plant with less than 0.50% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)(2).
- According to reports from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), all accredited CBD businesses in the state have no consumer complaints as of November 2020(3).
Is CBD Oil Legal in Texas?
Buying and selling hemp-derived CBD in Texas is legal as long as it does not contain over 0.30% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)(4).
State laws also allow a patient to possess and buy cannabis products with 0.50% THC, granted that they have a qualifying medical condition and are registered with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)(5).
Texas CBD Laws
2015 Senate Bill 339
The 2015 Senate Bill 399, also known as the Texas Compassionate Use Act, legalized the use of cannabis products with low THC levels, such as CBD oils, as an alternative medicine for epilepsy(6).
The law also authorized physicians in the state to prescribe low-THC cannabis products. Low-THC cannabis is any Cannabis sativa plant with not more than 0.50% THC by weight.
Under the legislation, cannabis dispensaries must be licensed to provide low-THC cannabis products. Employees of the dispensaries must also be registered with the DPS.
The law also awarded the department the responsibility of developing a secure online compassionate-use registry. The registry must contain the following information:
- Name of the physician who recommended the low-THC cannabis product to the patient
- Name and birthdate of the patient
- Dosage prescribed
- Means of administration prescribed
- The total amount of low-THC cannabis recommended
- Amount of low-THC cannabis provided by a dispensary to a patient under prescription
The registry must be designed to prevent one patient from having prescriptions from more than one physician. It must also be accessible to dispensing organizations and law enforcement agencies to verify whether an individual is registered.
2019 Texas House Bill 1325
Texas Governor Greg Abbott legalized planting, irrigating, cultivating, and harvesting hemp plants in Texas under the 2019 House Bill 1325(7).
Gov. Greg Abbott also legalized the production, manufacture, retail sale, and inspection of hemp and hemp-derived products in the state(8).
Lawmakers passed the bill to establish a pilot hemp program in Texas. Under the program, Texans and entities in the state may apply to be licensed hemp growers.
Texas law defined hemp as a Cannabis sativa plant that contains less than 0.30% THC on a dry weight basis.
The rules and regulations must recommend sampling, inspection, and testing procedures. The rules under the industrial hemp plan should include standards and procedures for the calibration of lab equipment to be used for THC content testing.
The legislation also authorized the department to collect the following fees for the program:
- A maximum of $100 for application
- A maximum of $100 for license renewal
- A maximum of $100 for each location and every location added after the application
- A maximum of $500 for site modification
- A maximum of $300 for collection and testing
The rules and regulations for the hemp program were implemented beginning August 2, 2020(9).
2019 House Bill 3703
The bill expanded the list of conditions that allow patients to qualify for the state’s medical cannabis program to include epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and spasticity(10).
Under the hemp law, only a licensed physician with the following credentials are authorized to prescribe low-THC cannabis to patients:
- Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
- Certified by the American Board of Clinical Neurophysiology
Texas residents may apply for a license to manufacture, distribute, and sell consumable hemp through the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) website.
To apply for a license, applicants must complete the following steps provided by the DSHS(11):
- Provide complete applicant information online
- Pay the application fee
- Complete the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Authorization Form
- Provide a legal description of the manufacturing site and its location
- Provide geographic information system (GIS) coordinates
- Submit a letter from the building owner
- Complete a criminal background check
- Submit fingerprint data
Applicants may submit the documents through an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aspiring hemp sellers are also required to submit fingerprints for a background check. After sending the documents, applicants should receive a Texas Fingerprint Service Code Form.
Applicants may schedule their fingerprint appointment online. They may also choose the location nearest them where the procedure can take place.
During the procedure, applicants must bring an identification photo and fee payment. Pricing information is given after setting up the appointment.
The fingerprint data should be submitted to the DPS and the FBI.
In line with Texas statutes, a hemp plant must be tested before it is processed, manufactured, or sold as a consumable hemp product in the state(12).
Hemp crops in the states must be tested to determine the concentration of various cannabinoids and discover harmful substances, including heavy metals and pesticides.
A consumable hemp product does not need to be tested if a seller is able to prove that each hemp-derived ingredient of the product contains a THC level of 0.30%.
State statutes prohibit the sale of hemp products with more than 0.30% THC.
Buying CBD Legally
How to Choose Which CBD Products to Buy
Buying and manufacturing hemp-derived CBD is legal in the state of Texas under the 2019 HB 1325(13).
Although the sale of low-THC cannabis is also legal in the state, cannabis retailers must be licensed before they can sell their products. All employees of any cannabis dispensary in Texas must be registered with the DPS(14).
One of the vital things when looking for the best CBD products is to check for proper labeling.
Reliable CBD brands provide products with information-packed product labels. To ensure the legality, safety, and effectiveness of a product, CBD user must look for the following information:
- Type of CBD: isolate, full-spectrum, or broad-spectrum
- Supplement fact panel
- Complete ingredient list
- Net weight
- Distributor name
- Suggested use
- Batch or date code
- CBD potency
- CBD concentration
- THC content
The product label should state the total milligrams (mg) of CBD the bottle or package contains. The label should also state the amount of CBD per serving and the number of servings in a package.
For example, one gummy is a standard serving size. The amount of CBD per serving is the amount of CBD that gummy will contain.
A bag of gummies with a CBD concentration of 300mg may have 30 pieces of gummies, each with 10mg of CBD.
When looking for the best CBD product available, it is recommended to look for brands accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The bureau collects consumer reports and accredits companies with outstanding business practices.
Reports from the BBB show that none of the 19 accredited CBD companies in Texas have a recorded customer complaint as of November 2020(15).
Where to Buy CBD Products Legally
Texas houses several CBD dispensaries, most of them in Houston. Below is the list of BBB-accredited CBD shops in Texas(16):
- CBD American Shaman of Houston Heights, Houston
- Sienna CBD, Houston
- Gulf Coast Extractions, Houston
- CBD American Shaman of Copperfield, Houston
- John’s CBD, Friendswood
- EVO3 CBD & Olive Oil, The Woodlands
- Edible Candy Bites Distribution Co., Sugar Land
- SE TX American Shaman CBD, Beaumont
- Papa Bear Botanicals, Tomball
- Destiny Organics, Porter
- CBD American Shaman, Port Arthur
- RoyalCanna, Austin
- Hemp 360, New Braunfels
- CBD Relief, San Antonio
- Green Waves, Corpus Christi
- Cleburne Purely, Cleburne
- New Health 365, Abilene
- CBD PLUS USA, Lubbock
- Your CBD Store of Lubbock, Lubbock
Benefits and Risks of CBD
Medical researchers have published several studies about the medicinal benefits of CBD.
According to research, CBD might help treat anxiety disorders(17). Another research showed that CBD may help treat patients who have panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)(18).
Meanwhile, another study stated that CBD may help patients with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis(19).
Researchers also noted that CBD may help oncologists in providing potential cancer treatment. A study hypothesized that cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system (ECS) might play a role in the cancer regulation processes(20).
The ECS is a human biological system composed of endocannabinoids, a lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitter. The endocannabinoids connect to cannabinoid receptors found in the body, such as in the peripheral nervous system and central nervous system.
Although several studies suggest that CBD has medicinal effects, patients should also be aware that using CBD entails some risks. Because of these risks, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to regulate CBD use.
Below is a list of the potential risks of using CBD cited by the FDA(21):
- Liver injury
- Gastrointestinal injury
- Loss of appetite
- Mood changes
- Interactions with other medications
- Interactions with other drugs and alcohol
The department also stated the following unknown factors that make using CBD potentially harmful:
- How does CBD affect the development of brain functions in children?
- How does CBD affect newborns?
- How does CBD interact with other plants?
- Is CBD harmful to the male reproductive system?
- What are the effects of long-term CBD use?
- How much CBD is needed to trigger the risks associated with it?
- How do different administration methods change the effect of CBD?
Starting a CBD Business in Texas
When starting a CBD business in the state, aspiring CBD retailers must determine how to conduct three important business functions: harvesting, extracting, and producing.
In the lone star state, hemp production and hemp farming have been legal since 2019 when lawmakers passed House Bill 1325(22). Aspiring entrepreneurs must only use hemp from licensed hemp growers in the state.
Extraction entails separating CBD from the raw hemp material, leaving other compounds, like THC.
Most CBD brands use the CO2 extraction process in extracting CBD and other cannabinoids from the hemp plant.
The process uses pressurized chambers and pumps to produce very high and low temperatures. The CO2 extraction method uses one chamber to hold pressurized CO2, while another chamber holds the hemp plant in place.
During the production process, pure CBD is modified into its final form, such as hemp extract, CBD balm, CBD capsules, CBD tinctures, or CBD oil.
In Texas, if an entrepreneur plans to offer low-THC cannabis to patients, they must first register with the DPS(23).
History of Texas CBD Laws
Below is a timeline of CBD laws in the state as recorded by the Texas National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. This non-profit organization promotes the legalization of responsible recreational marijuana use(24):
- 1915: El Paso was the first city in the country to ban cannabis.
- 1919: The possession of cannabis remained legal, but the recreational use of cannabis was labeled a misdemeanor.
- 1931: Cannabis possession was prohibited in Texas.
- 1973: State lawmakers passed HB 447, which classified the possession of up to two ounces of cannabis as a class B misdemeanor. The new law came with more lenient charges compared to prior legislation that considered cannabis possession of the same amount as a felony.
- 2007: Lawmakers passed HB 2391, which had a more lenient punishment for the possession of up to four ounces of cannabis. Instead of immediately arresting offenders, law enforcement officials may only cite and release.
- 2015: The Texas Compassionate Use Act was passed to enable the use of low-THC cannabis for epilepsy patients
- 2019: Lawmakers introduced HB 1325, which authorized the cultivation of hemp with 0.30% THC. The possession and the sale of hemp-derived CBD products were also declared legal.
- 2019: HB 3703 was introduced to expand the list of medical conditions that enable patients to qualify for the state’s cannabis program.
Cannabidiol is a compound typically sourced from the cannabis plant. It does not have psychoactive effects, unlike THC, the main psychoactive compound of cannabis.
Currently, there are three types of CBD available in the market today: CBD isolates, broad-spectrum CBD, and full-spectrum CBD.
A product with a CBD isolate has no other cannabinoids except CBD. A CBD isolate is produced by removing all non-CBD components from a hemp plant, including THC.
A broad-spectrum CBD product has all cannabinoids from a hemp plant, except THC. Broad-spectrum CBD products contain no detectable traces of THC.
Using broad-spectrum CBD products gives users the same benefits associated with full-spectrum CBD. However, the difference is that full-spectrum CBD users may ingest trace amounts of THC.
A full-spectrum CBD or whole plant CBD product may have high concentrations of CBD, terpenes, and low levels of THC. In Texas, full-spectrum products must contain less than 0.30% THC to be considered legal.
A full-spectrum extraction procedure means the hemp plant’s natural terpenes and cannabinoids have not been removed during the extraction process.
Users opt for full-spectrum CBD oils because of the product’s “entourage effect,” which helps maximize CBD’s therapeutic effects.
Texas legalized hemp cultivation in 2019, following the legalization of the act at the federal level in the US.
In 2018, the then President Donald Trump signed the Farm Bill into law. The federal law legalized the cultivation of hemp with less than 0.30% THC in the country.
Under the Farm Bill, the federal government removed hemp from the Schedule I drugs of the Controlled Substances Act(25).
Although recreational marijuana and medical marijuana are still prohibited in Texas, cannabis laws in the state allow patients with select medical conditions to legally purchase low-THC cannabis(26).
- Texas Legislature Online. HB No. 1325. Retrieved from https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/86R/billtext/html/HB01325F.htm
- TLO. SB No. 339. Retrieved from https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/84R/billtext/pdf/SB00339F.pdf
- Better Business Bureau. Retrieved from https://www.bbb.org/search?filter_ratings=A&filter_state=TX&find_country=USA&find_entity=81000-800&find_id=81000-800&find_text=CBD%20Oil&find_type=Category&page=1&sort=Rating&touched=12
- TLO. HB No. 1325. Op cit.
- TLO. SB No. 339. Op cit.
- TLO. HB No. 1325. Op cit.
- Texas Department of State Health Services. Hemp Program. Retrieved from https://www.dshs.texas.gov/consumerprotection/hemp-program/default.aspx
- TLO. HB No. 3703. Retrieved from https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/86R/billtext/html/HB03703I.HTM
- DSHS. Op cit.
- Texas Statutes. Health and Safety Code. Chapter 443. Manufacture, Distribution, and Sale of Consumable Hemp Product. Retrieved from https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/docs/HS/htm/HS.443.htm
- TLO. HB No. 1325. Op cit.
- TLO. SB No. 339. Op cit.
- BBB. Op cit.
- Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in anxiety and sleep: a large case series. The Permanente Journal, 23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/
- Schier, A., Ribeiro, N., Silva, A., Hallak, J., Crippa, J., Nardi, A., & Zuardi, A. (2012). Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent, as an anxiolytic drug. Brazillian Journal of Psychiatry, 104-110. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22729452/
- Hammell, D., Zhang, L., Abshire, S., McIlwrath, S., Stinchcomb, A., & Westlund, K. (2016). Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. European Journal of Pain, 936-948. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851925/
- Rocha, F., Dos Santos, Jr., J., Stefano, S., & Silveira, D. (2014). Systematic review of the literature on clinical and experimental trials on the antitumor effects of cannabinoids in gliomas. Journal of Neuro-Oncology, 116(1):11-24. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24142199/
- US Food and Drug Administration. What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/what-you-need-know-and-what-were-working-find-out-about-products-containing-cannabis-or-cannabis
- TLO. HB No. 1325. Op cit.
- TLO. SB No. 339. Op cit.
- Texas National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Texas Cannabis Law Timeline. Retrieved from https://www.texasnorml.org/
- US Food and Drug Administration. Hemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/news-events/congressional-testimony/hemp-production-and-2018-farm-bill-07252019
- TLO. SB No. 339. Op cit.