HOUSTON (FOX 26) - As of Friday, hemp will no longer be a controlled substance in Texas.
The Texas Department of State Health Services is scheduled to remove it from a list of “Schedule 1” drugs.
With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the federal government removed hemp from the list of controlled substances.
Now, Texas is complying with that law by doing the same, just as businesses that sell CBD hemp extract are popping up all over the Houston area.
Matthew Orosky, a Sugar Land resident, discovered Hemp CBD a year and a half ago while looking for a cure for chronic knee pain from a torn meniscus.
“I had a friend suggest I try CBD oil, and I did, and within 30 days of the oil under the tongue, the pain went away," Orosky said.
18 months ago, the only way he knew to get CBD was online.
Now, Sacred Leaf Texas in Fort Bend County is the latest in a series of CBD related businesses opening in the Houston area.
The franchise already has a shop in Katy, and another location is opening in Baytown this year.
That’s not to mention the CBD products popping up in nutrition shops, pet shops, malls, and gas stations.
“It’s got a bad reputation, and the reputation is going to continue until people are educated," said Debbie Hottman, owner of Sacred Leaf Texas.
Hottman says the city of Sugar Land didn’t approve zoning her hemp CBD business, so she set up shop across the street from Sugar Land city limits in Fort Bend County.
“It’s ridiculous, but should I say I respect the laws? I do.”
CBD is extracted from the flowers and leaves of hemp plants. While hemp is a part of the cannabis plant family, it’s naturally low in THC, which is the cannabis extract that gets users high.
Last year, Congress legalized hemp that contains 0.3% THC.
How much THC do Debbie’s hemp products contain?
“None. Zero. Absolutely zero.”
THC is still illegal in Texas.
While hemp will no longer be a Schedule 1 drug, it’s not all smooth sailing from here in the CBD business.
State legislators would have to modify the current criminal penalties for buying and selling hemp to align fully with federal law.
Meanwhile, Matthew is just glad to have a shop down the street to get CBD in the form of oil, coffee, gummies, lotion, and candy.
“I was looking at surgery on my knee, and I didn’t want to do that. And the CBD oil fixed everything.”
Several canabis related bills are being considered in state legislature this year.