The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has launched a Consumable Hemp Program “to provide clarity for future license and registration holders, as well as adequate safeguards for consumers,” the agency says on its website.
The program will regulate the manufacturing, processing, distribution and sale of consumable hemp products in the state, including those with cannabidiol (CBD), according to a news release. DSHS is currently accepting applications online for manufacturers and retailers.
Texas’ program comes at a time when industry members across the country are calling for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to implement a regulatory framework for CBD products. The state joins a growing number of states across the country, including Florida and Virginia, that have opted to create their own framework for CBD businesses to work within.
"With the passage of the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill, Texas was seeing an exponential influx of products derived from, or including hemp, from lipsticks to lotions to CBD oils," Sen. Charles Perry, Senate sponsor of H.B. 1325, which legalized hemp in the state, says in a news release. "These products were coming from states and countries that may not require robust testing or labeling. House Bill 1325 added some of the strongest consumer protections in the nation to ensure these products are safe for consumers. I am pleased to see that these safeguards are being implemented by DSHS to help guarantee our fellow Texans will be purchasing safe products."
The program went into effect Aug. 2 and requires a license to manufacture, process and distribute consumable hemp. The fee for an initial license is $258 per facility and valid for a year.
Additionally, retailers that are currently selling consumable hemp products must register each location where the products will be sold by Oct. 2. The fee for a one-year retailer license is $155 per location.
DSHS has oversight of food, drug, cosmetics and medical device manufacturers, distributors and retailers in the state. The agency says local jurisdictions may also regulate retail sales of those product categories, but they cannot prohibit the sale of consumable hemp products.
The agency’s website notes that “because the FDA also has authority to oversee food, cosmetics and dietary supplements, the FDA may take actions on its own relating to the ingredients in foods, drugs, cosmetics and dietary supplements.”
Meanwhile, the DSHS’ new regulations also solidify the ban of smokable hemp in the state. That ban was written into H.B. 1325, which passed in June of 2019.