An appeals panel in Texas issued a mixed judgment Thursday in a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on smokable hemp. Regulators may enforce a ban on the processing and manufacture of products intended for smoking or vaping, the court ruled, but they cannot prevent such products made elsewhere from being sold in the state. The decision creates a situation in which consumers may be able to freely purchase smokable hemp flower and hemp-derived CBD oils for vaping, but only if the products are processed outside Texas and imported into the state. Four Texas companies challenged the ban in a lawsuit last year, asking the court to declare the restrictions unconstitutional and allow hemp products intended for smoking or vaping to be produced and sold legally. In response, a state judge put the entire ban on hold last September, preventing the government from enforcing it until the matter could be resolved in court. Thursday’s ruling will modify that injunction. In the ruling, a three-justice panel of the Third District Court of Appeals drew a distinction between the processing and manufacturing of smokable hemp—which lawmakers strictly prohibited when they legalized hemp in 2019—and distribution and sales, which regulators at the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) forbade under a rule adopted a year later.
Ben Adlin, Marijuana Moment, 08/05/2021 13:39:00