Governor Greg Abbot, on Monday, signed House Bill (HB) 1325, which will allow farmers to legally grow hemp. Furthermore, the bill has also removed hemp from the state’s list of controlled substances, besides legalizing Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive chemical in cannabis, and its products.
The bill was approved in the Texas House of Representatives in April, followed by approval from the state Senate in May. Notably, HB 1325 was bestowed with unanimous backing in both houses of the legislature.
Texas farmers would be more than happy to hear this piece of news as it has added another ‘flexible’, ‘drought-tolerant crop’ to their list of options.
“There isn’t any good reason why Texas farmers and ranchers shouldn’t have hemp as a crop option,” said Gene Hall, a spokesman for the Texas Farm Bureau. However, before HB 1325 comes into force, the state’s Department of Agriculture is required to draft a ‘hemp agriculture regulatory program’ with the rules to license farmers who want to grow the crop. The draft will then be submitted to the US Department of Agriculture for approval.
Glad to hear the news, Michael DeGiglio, CEO Village Farms International, told the media that the company will perhaps be the first one to seek regulatory approval to grow hemp in the state.
“The Governor’s signing of this bill into law opens up a significant opportunity for Village Farms International as a first mover in the Texas hemp industry and will permit us to capitalize on the expected demand for premium-grade hemp grown in controlled-environment facilities for high-end health, wellness & pharmaceutical industries.”
Reportedly, Village Farms has already begun converting half of its high-tech greenhouse facility, measuring 1.3 million square foot, into a hemp cultivation and CBD extraction facility.
In the words of the CEO himself, “Conversion of half of Permian Basin greenhouse in West Texas for hemp production is well underway now and we look forward to start production asap upon Texas establishing a licensing and regulatory framework for hemp and CBD products.”