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Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is a strong supporter of industrial hemp production as a new market opportunity for Texas farmers to expand their operations and grow alternative crops. 

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the commercial production of hemp and authorized states to submit state plans to administer hemp programs. On June 10, 2019, House Bill 1325, was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott. The bill authorizes the production, manufacture, retail sale, and inspection of industrial hemp crops and products in Texas. This also includes products for consumable hemp products which contain cannabidiol (CBD), as well as other edible parts of the hemp plant.

Hemp is not currently legal to grow in Texas until TDA submits a state hemp plan to the USDA and receives approval.

However, prior to submitting the state plan, the TDA is required to wait for guidance from USDA on implementation procedures related to the 2018 Farm Bill hemp provisions. Recently, USDA has informed TDA that it anticipates releasing that guidance in Fall 2019. TDA must wait for those guidelines prior to developing administrative rules and submitting a plan to USDA.

TDA will then go through the rulemaking process to ensure the Department receives stakeholder and public input regarding the new hemp program. TDA’s administrative rules will relate to licensing, production, testing, seed certification and other program oversight, as necessary. Once the USDA plan is approved by USDA and the administrative rules are adopted, industrial hemp can be grown and cultivated legally in the State of Texas.

TDA anticipates the hemp growing permit application process will begin in 2020.

The regulation of CBD consumables, including CBD oil, will be handled in accordance with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines. The state agency with oversight of CBD consumables is the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and not TDA. Questions regarding those matters should be directed to that DSHS.

As additional information is available, this website will be updated.  If you are interested in receiving regular updates on hemp and other topics, please subscribe to our TDA newsletter.

   Helpful Information
H.R. 2
Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018
(Farm Bill)


86th Texas Legislative Session




TDA Press Release



Contact Information

 For  questions about growing hemp, please contact TDA:

For questions regarding consumables, products, or CBD oil, please contact Texas Department of State Health Services:


Comments and questions about the 2018 Farm Bill implementation of Hemp Production, you may contact USDA at: USDA Hemp Production Program
   Frequently Asked Questions

PERMITS TO GROW HEMP

Where can I get a permit to grow hemp?

It is not currently legal to grow hemp. There is no available permit application at this time. TDA will be developing an application and issuing hemp permits after Texas’s state hemp plan is approved by USDA.

TDA is required to wait for guidance from USDA on implementation procedures related to the 2018 Farm Bill hemp provisions. Recently, USDA has informed TDA that it anticipates releasing that guidance in Fall 2019. TDA must wait for those guidelines prior to developing administrative rules and submitting a plan to USDA.

Until the Department’s state plan has been approved by USDA and the Texas administrative rules have been adopted by the Department (which govern the program), it is not legal to grow hemp and permits to grow hemp will not be accepted. 

Can I get an experimental permit to grow hemp in 2019?

TDA will not be issuing experimental licenses to grow in 2019. States with experimental permits are operating under the 2014 Farm Bill.

When can I apply for a permit to grow hemp?

TDA anticipates beginning the application process in 2020.

Is there a waitlist to get a hemp license?

No. There is no waitlist. Applications will be open to the public when available.

Will there be a limited number of licenses available?

No.

What will be included in the application?

TDA is required to wait for guidance from USDA on implementation procedures related to 2018 Farm Bill hemp provisions. Until the USDA guidelines are released, TDA cannot anticipate what will be included in the application.  More information will be available in Fall 2019.

Who will approve hemp permit applications? Can I be part of the panel?

Applications will not be reviewed by a panel. As with all TDA regulatory licenses, they will be reviewed by TDA Licensing Division staff. Additionally, hemp permit applicants must undergo criminal background checks prior to approval.

COSTS OF HEMP PRODUCTION

What are the costs associated with the hemp program?

TDA is required to wait for guidance from USDA on implementation procedures related to the 2018 Farm Bill. Until the USDA guidelines are released, TDA cannot anticipate what costs will be associated with permitting, testing or other program administration.

As with any business operation, farming is a financial risk. You should evaluate your options and research vendors and retailers prior to entering any contracts for services and other matters related to hemp farming, processing and production. 

How can I get certified hemp seed?

TDA is required to wait for guidance from USDA on implementation procedures related to the 2018 Farm Bill. There is currently no certified hemp seed available in Texas. Growing conditions vary by region and can produce different results with the same seeds.

Is there crop insurance?

Not at this time. USDA does not anticipate that insurance will be available until at least after the 2020 growing season once more crop information is available.

Can I sell/export my hemp crop overseas?

No. It is not currently legal to export hemp outside of the United States.

Consumable Hemp Products and Cannabinoids (CBD)

What is a consumable hemp product?

A consumable hemp product is a food, drug, device, or cosmetic that contains industrial hemp or hemp-derived cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD). These products may not contain more than 0.3 percent concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

How do I register to sell CBD in my store?

TDA’s Hemp Program will encompass the planting, inspection, testing and harvesting of hemp crops. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will create a registration process for retailers selling consumable hemp products containing CBD. Contact DSHS by emailing DSHSHempProgram@dshs.texas.gov or visit their website for more information.

OTHER QUESTIONS

How do I get a list of hemp growers?

It is not legal to grow hemp in Texas. There is not list of growers available. However, in the future, you may submit a public information request for this information.

How do I become a hemp inspector?

There are currently no openings for hemp inspectors. Hemp is not currently legal to grow in Texas. You can check TDA’s current job openings by visiting our website.

How do I become a certified lab eligible to test hemp?

There are currently no procedures to become a registered certified laboratory. TDA is required to wait for guidance from USDA on implementation procedures related to the 2018 Farm Bill. However, House Bill 1325 requires that any laboratory that performs tests must be accredited by an independent accreditation body in accordance with International Organization for Standardization ISO/IEC 17025.

How can I be part of a stakeholder group?

We do not have a stakeholder group at this time. Please check back for updates.