Before we look at the laws on CBD in Texas, let’s look at what the national laws say about it.
The law differs from state to state, and there are different levels of legality: while some states have legalized cannabis completely, others have only legalized the use of medical cannabis - and in other states, CBD is prohibited.
Generally speaking, the law makes a distinction between cannabis and hemp. In quite a few countries and regions around the world, cannabis is not legal, but hemp is.
Biologically, there isn’t a real difference between hemp and cannabis plants. Plants are meant to be classified in a scientific way, and there isn’t a distinctive scientific difference between cannabis and hemp - which makes this a controversial issue. Cannabis and hemp come from the same genus of Cannabis plants.
Legally, though, they’re categorized according to how much tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is in them. THC is the part of the plant that is intoxicating - meaning it’s what gets people high.
At a federal level, “hemp” is defined as a plant of the Cannabis variety that contains less than 0.3 percent THC. The 0.3 percent rule, though, is quite random - even the person who came up with the definition, Ernest Small, notes that it’s an arbitrary number in his book, “The Species Problem in Cannabis: Science & Semantics.”
Despite the fact that hemp can’t actually get you high because the THC levels are so low, hemp was classified as a schedule 1 drug since the 1970s, making it a controlled substance. While some people grew it illegally, the Drug Enforcement Agency didn’t actually prosecute anyone for selling hemp.
In December 2018, a new law was signed in, making hemp totally legal to grow and sell in the US. However, state-level laws are still catching up, and some states still forbid growing and selling hemp, while others - such as Colorado, New York, and California - have completely legalized cannabis.
Why is hemp relevant? CBD is often derived from hemp, although it can also be derived from cannabis. In countries and regions where cannabis is prohibited, it’s sometimes legal to sell and buy CBD that is derived from hemp plants. The laws on CBD usually depend on the laws on hemp.
So, at a federal level, CBD can be bought and sold - but individual states still have the power to decide whether or not hemp and CBD should be legal or not. If a state wants to allow the commercial cultivation of hemp, it has to submit a detailed plan to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for approval.