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COMMISSIONER MILLER ISSUES FIRST HEMP LICENSE IN TEXAS (4/9/2020)

AUSTIN – Today, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller announced the first Texas industrial hemp license was issued earlier this week to a farmer in Killeen, Texas. The license grants this farmer the opportunity to grow hemp in Texas for one year.  As a part of the application process, the applicant specified a facility where the hemp will be grown.  This first license represents the long-awaited launch of the hemp industry in Texas following the passage of the Farm Bill by Congress in 2018.

“Let’s face it, Texas farmers and ranchers needed some good news,” Commissioner Miller said. “I am happy that I can be the one to deliver it. I know Texas farmers have been eagerly waiting for a chance at these hemp licenses and now the wait is over.”

As of today, the Texas Department of Agriculture has received a total of 546 industrial hemp applications including 458 producer applications, 58 handler applications, and 30 handler sampler applications.  Each producer must also register a facility where the hemp will be grown and apply for a permit for every lot to be grown.

Industrial hemp production is an opportunity for Texas farmers to expand their operations and grow alternative crops. Commissioner Miller has been a strong supporter of industrial hemp production and is optimistic it will offer farmers a new market accessibility, while also cautioning against unrealistic expectations.

“License number #1 is just the beginning for industrial hemp in Texas,” Commissioner Miller said. “Hemp offers Texas farmers a great new opportunity, but I want them to understand that with every promise of high profit comes the reality of high risk. My job was to get this program started, its now up to farmers and processors to build that Texas ‘hempire.’”

As a part of the application process, each licensee had to watch an educational video about the hemp program released by TDA and hosted by Commissioner Miller.  That video is available here.

To Frequently Asked Questions about the Texas hemp program or to apply for a hemp license, visit the TDA Hemp page at this link: https://www.texasagriculture.gov/RegulatoryPrograms/Hemp.aspx

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