Encountering CBD products is common in today’s crowded marketplace for hemp-infused goods. The substance has made its way in to every market segment, from the edible supplement aisle, to health and beauty, pet products, and pain relief. As the progressive products change the way consumers think about hemp-derived goods, laws continue changing to accommodate the emerging industry. The State of Texas officially ruled on the matter in June, when Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill legalizing hemp cultivation, as well as the sale and possession of hemp-derived CBD products. In the months following the hemp policy change, Texas CBD merchants are hitting full stride.
Trending Treatments Drive Texas CBD Business Investment
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound extracted from hemp plants. Not to be confused with THC, the psychoactive substance in marijuana, CBD does not supply the “high” users experience when ingesting weed. Confusion arises, because in addition to deriving CBD from hemp plants, without psychoactive compounds, the substance can also be extracted from marijuana. The association with recreational drugs has long held back mainstream hemp utilization; legal changes hope to change that, enabling consumers to reap the plants’ benefits.
The Federal Government passed a farm bill in 2018, allowing cultivation of hemp plants and production of CBD products containing less than .3 percent THC. Governor Abbott’s action brings Texas CBD policy in line with that of the Feds. The result of the move is bustling business for Texas CBD merchants, sparking growth in the hemp and CBD sector.
Although some hemp strains have long been valued for fibrous material used in rope making and other practical applications, embracing the benefits of CBD is a recent phenomenon. Despite its popularity, the compound has not been widely studied, offering little data proving its effectiveness. CBD is nonetheless touted as beneficial for topical use and consumption. And even without scientific studies vouching for its efficacy, Texas consumers appear willing to take a chance on CBD. According to some economic projections, the collective US market for CBD products could reach $20 billion by 2024.
As recently as 2017, hemp and CBD products remained outliers on the fringe of Texas consumer consciousness. Today, hemp goods are prominently featured in stores of all kinds. The explosive growth overtaking Texas CBD industries owes itself to users’ belief that Cannabidiol has health and wellness benefits. In truth, the verdict is still out on the measurable effects of ingesting CBD or using the substance topically.
In its least disputed application, there is no doubt CBD relieves some of the symptoms of childhood epilepsy. CBD treatment reduces the number of seizures in epilepsy syndromes such as Dravet’s and has stopped them altogether in some patients. In many cases, the compound yields better treatment outcomes than traditional anti-seizure medication. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the first cannabis-derived medication for treating the childhood condition.
Sellers have come under fire for touting CBD as a cure-all, making outlandish claims to increase sales. Evidence drawn from limited CBD studies suggests the compound may have potential for treating anxiety and sleeplessness, as well as aiding pain management, for some users. Promising pain relief outcomes include a European Journal of Pain study indicating that a topical CBD application may have value treating arthritis pain and inflammation. As more evidence comes to light and FDA recognition legitimizes CBD products, their presence in the Texas marketplace can only generate further opportunity within the state’s booming industry.
CBD Business Opportunities Expand Within the State
The buzz about CBD started before the compound became legal in Texas. Though advocates promoted CBD use before the law took effect, the legal gray area limited hemp-related commerce. Following the official legalization of Texas hemp and CBD sales, state sellers now embrace the full complement of CBD products, including
- Concentrated Oils
- Vape Oil
- Skin Products
- Pet Supplies
- Hair Care Lines
According to an article in the Texas Tribune, studying CBD impacts on the state’s economy, the industry can’t say for sure how many CBD businesses have opened in Texas during the past year. The Texas Department of State Health Services hasn’t yet imposed licensing requirements, but observers perceive increased consumer awareness about CBD and a surge in entrepreneurial interest.
The Austin Chamber of Commerce reports at least 3 examples of CBD business expansion or relocation due to growth, potentially employing almost 150 new workers since the hemp bill passed in June. The figures are not comprehensive, yet the increased activity illustrates the potential for CBD profits in Austin and other Texas cities.
Before You Launch a CBD Business
With so much apparent momentum propelling the industry and opportunity knocking, you may be tempted to wade in to the hemp or CBD business. Before committing time and resources to the prospect, consider these important aspects of House Bill (HB) 1325.
- Weed is not legal in Texas – Despite increasing awareness about hemp and CBD products, the substances are still lumped in with marijuana by some consumers. And it isn’t a stretch – more than 10 states now allow legal recreational use. Texas is not one of them; HB 1325 does not legalize pot. Instead, the new law adopts the federal definition for hemp, which designates plants with a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content below .3 percent. Marijuana is still an illegal controlled substance under Texas law.
- Retail rules and regulations are in the works – When Texas formally legalized CBD, a substantial policy change was undertaken, requiring a new infrastructure. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) holds domain over CBD rules and regulations, including registration. CBD sellers will be required to register and comply with policies governing retail sales of hemp-derived goods. To meet the standard for in-state sales, retail items must not surpass the .3 percent THC threshold. A consumable hemp product in Texas is defined as a food, device, cosmetic, or drug containing industrial hemp or hemp-derived compounds like CBD. DSHS will maintain a random testing program to promote compliance; retailers can currently possess CBD inventory, while waiting for the government to iron out all the particulars about Texas CBD compliance and enforcement.
- Cultivation is coming – With the passage of HB 1325, a hemp growing program is taking shape in Texas. Under the terms of the new law, the state qualifies for commercial hemp production with federal approval from the USDA. The Texas Department of Agriculture is working on a plan, and licensing and permitting protocols are being formulated for legal cultivation. Until the application and licensing process rolls out (expected in 2020), cultivating hemp remains illegal.
- Legal CBD is a new frontier – As the hemp industry moves from the shadows in to the mainstream economy, legal and contractual issues arise. Before bringing goods to market, ensure you’re working with legal CBD, below the .3 percent THC limitation. Employ testing as needed, recording test results that prove your products are legal. And when promoting your business, avoid claims you can’t prove; aggressive CBD marketing has received federal scrutiny.
The CBD industry’s upside potential generates a business buzz within the growing hemp economy. A recently enacted Texas law legalizing the compound and other hemp-derived products is fueling a gold rush for hemp entrepreneurs, hoping to cash in on the emerging industry. Established professionals are also making gains, building big business in the Texas hemp trade.
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