For over two years, Texas has struggled with how to regulate smokable hemp, but on June 24, the state's Supreme Court gave clarity when it declared that while people can own, buy, and sell smokable hemp in Texas, they cannot process or produce it there.
The Texas Department of State Health Services - its commissioner and John Hellerstedt, and four hemp companies - Crown Distributing, American Juice, Co., Custom Botanical Dispensary, and 1937 Apothecary - fought in court for months before the Supreme Court's decision on Friday, according to the Dallas Observer.
The majority of the financial backing for the case came from Wild Hempettes, according to the Dallas Observer.
The Texas Legislature enacted House Bill 1325, which gave the Department of State Health Services control over the state's edible hemp program, following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp on a national level.
Hemp firms filed a lawsuit to challenge the department's regulation that forbade the processing, production, distribution, and sale of smokable hemp in Texas. Because the restriction would compel them to conduct business outside of the state, harming their finances and perhaps forcing them to close down, the plaintiffs argued that the ban violates the state constitution.
According to the Dallas Observer, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the protected work-related interests are constrained and that although the state constitution guarantees the right to engage in any of the common occupations of life or pursue a lawful calling, business, or profession, those rights do not apply to businesses attempting to produce and process smokable hemp because they never been interpreted to protect a right to work in fields our society, according to the court.
Chelsie Spencer of Ritter Spencer PLLC, who represented the plaintiffs in the complaint, told the Dallas Observer that the matter is probably over when the Supreme Court issues its decision.
Medical Marijuana in Texas
Only individuals with one of the recognized medical conditions are eligible to legally access medicinal marijuana in Texas. Additionally, unlike other states that permit the use of medicinal marijuana, Texas does not provide marijuana cards to eligible patients. Instead, a marijuana prescription is given to them.
Patients in Texas must first seek a prescription for medicinal marijuana from an MMJ physician who has been authorized by the state. The Compassionate Use Registry Texas will then receive the patient's marijuana prescription from the physician (CURT). Qualifying patients can purchase medicinal cannabis from any Texas medical marijuana shop after registering on the CURT.