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Texas Supreme Court Bans Smokable Hemp Production, Sales

Hemp was considered an agricultural product at the time of the 2018 Farm Bill’s passage. However, the Texas Supreme Court in 2019 banned the sale and use of smokable hemp. The Travis County District Court challenged the decision and ruled that hemp was an agricultural product. However, in 2019, the Texas Supreme Court banned smokable cannabis.

On March 20, 2022, Supreme court proceedings were held in Texas with the Texas Department of State Health Services (and John Hellerstedt as its commissioner) and four smokable Hemp companies (Crown Distributing. America Juice Co. and Custom Botanical Dispensary.

Jeffrey S. Boyd of the Texas Supreme Court wrote on June 24 that smoking hemp was still illegal. “Considering the long history of the state’s extensive efforts to prohibit and regulate the production, possession, and use of the Cannabis sativa: plant, we conclude that the manufacture and processing of smokable hemp products is neither a liberty interest nor a vested property interest the due-course clause protects,” Boyd wrote.

The Texas Constitution mentions the right “to engage in any of the common occupations of life” and “pursue a lawful calling, business or profession,” but in Boyd’s opinion, these rights don’t apply to hemp production. “It is enough to observe that the due-course clause, like its federal counterpart, has never been interpreted to protect a right to work in fields our society has long deemed ‘inherently vicious and harmful.’”

Wild Hemp, an Austin-based hemp firm, provided the main funding for this project. But the legal battle was won. The company’s CEO, Zain Meghani, spoke with Dallas ObserverLearn more about this ruling and its implications for local hemp businesses.

“This ruling hurts the Texas hemp industry top to bottom,” Meghani said.

Chelsie Spencer was a founding member at Ritter Spencer PLLC, Addison Texas. She represented hemp businesses. “The Texas Supreme Court has determined that the Texas Constitution does not protect the economic liberty interest of smokable hemp manufacturers and processors in the state of Texas,” Spencer said. “We are profoundly disappointed in this decision and disheartened by the continued stigma surrounding cannabis. It is telling when the Court insinuates that cannabis is ‘inherently vicious and harmful.’”

Furthermore, the effort has been defeated and according to Spencer, Wild Hemp isn’t willing to spend more money to fight it. “They funded this case entirely and are now being kicked out of their home state.”

Spencer says that this state’s decision to ban smokable cannabis is detrimental. “I would anticipate increased consumer costs for Texas products, simply because the state kicked them out this morning, and they all have to move now,” Spencer told the Dallas Observer. “Most telling, our economic expert found that the state will lose one million in tax revenue from Wild Hempettes alone by 2024 by kicking them out.”

Wild Hemp offers a variety of hemp products, including CBD Cigarillos and CBD Cigarillos. Topicals, topicals, paper cones and Hempettes CBD Cigarettes. You can find a pack of four flavors in each cigarette: Natural (Menthol), Pineapple Blaze (Pineapple Blaze), and Sweet.

While smoking marijuana hemp is still prohibited for sale or production, other cannabis-related initiatives are underway in Texas. This could result in decriminalization of cannabis for users. There are many opposing parties to legalizing recreational cannabis, such as the Texas State Republican Party. They recently released a number of planks or stances on hemp and cannabis. Although the party supported decriminalization, its stances at the 2022 Texas State Republican Convention in support of cannabis being classified as a Schedule 2 substance. However, it also stated that recreational marijuana should not be legal.