A ban on smokable hemp products has been re-invoked by the Texas Supreme court. Although a lower court had rejected the ban and was in favor of anti-prohibition, the latest Supreme Court ruling will prohibit current hemp retailers from selling any and all smokable hemp products, putting many manufacturers in the state out of business.
The move is a major step forward for the industry and will leave Texas losing significant income from an industry that would have otherwise done remarkably well for the state.
A Unanimous Decision
The use of recreational marijuana is still illegal in the state of Texas, but in 2019, the state legalized the use of smokable hemp products. Such products still come from the cannabis plant but have no psychoactive properties.
In essence, smoking hemp is like smoking pure CBD, which has been widely known as a method to manage pain, decrease inflammation, and reduce symptoms related to stress and anxiety.
The unanimous decision to overturn the 2019 law comes as a setback for the state in the eyes of anti-prohibitionists and will undoubtedly contribute to significant financial loss for Texas.
In their justification for the new ban, Texas justices were quick to point out that before 2019, hemp production was illegal. They argue that manufacturers ought not to be surprised or bothered by the decision and that the new legislation has not eliminated a business activity that was at one time widely accepted.
While the manufacturing of smokable hemp products might not have been legal in the state for very long, it was a welcome move forward for the cannabis industry, and this new motion by the Supreme Court will undoubtedly cause major setbacks both for the state and for the industry.
For those within the hemp industry, the new law is an “unconstitutional” one.
“Regulating the manufacture of hemp for smoking is a bit like regulating the manufacture of paint for inhalation or laundry detergents for eating,” according to Bill Davis. It is worth mentioning that at this time, the ban only prohibits the production of smokable hemp products, not the use of them.
An Attack On Hemp Cultivators
Although the ban will prohibit production in Texas, it won’t stop cultivators from doing business. According to MJBizDaily, some Texas hemp companies have already gone so far as to buy land across the border in Oklahoma.
The government of Texas argues that the ban comes with an aim to protect the health of citizens. What the state fails to realize is that smokable hemp products are a valuable resource to many patients battling chronic pain, PTSD, and depression. While the health consideration guise may be enough to convince some, many within the industry have not been swayed.
Due to the ruling, hemp farmers in the state – with the second-highest population in the country – will no longer have access to a market that is projected to rake in more than $400 million in sales annually by the year 2025. Not only is this a direct attack on manufacturers, but it is a blatant commitment to revenue loss by the Texas government.
Although the decision was unanimous in Texas’ Supreme Court, it has been met with outrage from industry leaders and laymen alike.
The state has attempted to justify the decision on health concerns, but in reality, the new ban will certainly cause continued suffering for citizens. Yes, smoking hemp products is legal, but if patients can’t access those products then the issue remains unresolved.
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