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Hemp Bill becomes a law in Texas – Sigh of relief for many, but the confusion still persists

CBD oil in Texas

CBD has been in the limelight since months now, especially post cannabinoid legalization under the Farm Bill in December 2018. The federal law removed hemp derived cannabinoid from the list of Controlled Substances and legalized its use in the United States. Despite the federal law allowing CBD, many states have apprehensions about the long-term effects of its usage.

There has been a lot of confusion all around Texas, when it comes to CBD oil, with customers and vendors operating in a grey area. The state has not declared its stance on the subject and has no clear rules about whether CBD is legal or not. Retailers are selling CBD infused products and consumers are buying them, perplexed with the law that governs cannabinoid.

Monday night, Governor Grey Abbott cleared up some of that confusion by quietly saying House Bill 1325 into law. The law legalizes hemp plant farming and the sales and possession of hemp derived CBD oil containing less than 0.3% of THC, a compound that is responsible for the high in marijuana or when people smoke weed. THC or tetrahydro cannabinoid is a psychoactive compound which alters the state of mind and causes the user to experience hallucinations.

The new state law goes into effect immediately.

Emile Abdo, a Dallas pharmacist says the new state law is comforting for patients and stores who say CBD provides an alternative to opioids to treat pain. CBD is known for its anti-inflammatory and non-psychoactive properties. It helps reduce pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, swelling, inflammation and even treats severe ailments like Cancer, Alzheimer’s and epilepsy. Many patients have reported a significant improvement in their health after using CBD only for a few weeks.

Aldo says that it makes him a little more comfortable and content sharing patients and customers that they are buying a completely safe, legitimate and legal product. However, the new state law does not encapsulate many important things regarding CBD’s legality. NBC5 investigates has found that field tests used by the police to identify illegal drugs were not designed to tell the difference between CBD oil and marijuana.

This means that CBD users could still be detained and charged for illegal drugs even if they consume the legal product i.e CBD. At the same time, the FDA is still discussing about the regulatory framework for sales and marketing of CBD based products. It held a public meeting on May 31 with stakeholders, law officials, retailers and consumers to talk about the impact of CBD.

While most of the people supported the cause and said it could bring a wave a change in the health industry, others were a bit withdrawn. Dallas/Fort Worth International airport tells NBC5 that they are looking to state prosecutors for an update on the cannabinoid procedures, now that the new law is in place.

The Dallas airport has been infamous for CBD oil confiscations recently, the police arrests for passengers with CBD oil have skyrocketed in the past six months. The airport police will also consult with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection that frequently stops travellers carrying CBD oil and then calls the police to make an arrest.

Meanwhile, in May, the Transportation Security Administration changed its cannabis policy to allow passengers to travel with some forms of CBD oil that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The agency allows only a few drugs with CBD that are known to treat epilepsy in children.

But, the new state law in Texas has given a sigh of relief to many people and brought them a step closer to some clarity. Abdo says he gets questions almost every other day from people asking if it is legal to which he has a sceptical answer and says they are still waiting on somebody to sign it.

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NBC5 investigates also reached out to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office to enquire about their further plan of action regarding the pending CBD cases. So far, there hasn’t been any response from the DA’s office. Despite of the chaos and the confusions, citizens of Texas have high hopes from the new state law. They expect CBD to be more readily available in their nearby stores and wish to buy and use it without worrying about the legal repercussions of it.

Ivan writes about Cannabis at The Cannabis Radar. He has a degree in Nutrition Sciences from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre. He likes to spend his spare time reading to his daughter or spending time with his wife.

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