Texas Supreme Court Takes Case Challenging Smokable Hemp Ban

High Times

The Texas Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case challenging the state’s ban on smokable hemp and has scheduled oral arguments for early next year. After hemp was legalized at the federal level through the 2018 Farm Bill, the following year, Texas state lawmakers approved legislation that bans the manufacturing of smokable hemp products. Often rich in CBD and other cannabinoids, smokable forms of hemp have become popular with consumers, particularly in states without other forms of legal cannabis. In 2020, four hemp businesses filed a lawsuit in Travis County District Court against the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), the agency responsible for regulating consumable hemp in the state, and its commissioner, John Hellerstedt. Judge Lora Livingston of the 261st District Court ruled in August that the ban on smokable hemp is unconstitutional and issued a permanent injunction barring the DSHS from enforcing its provisions. “Based on the entire record in this case, the Court concludes that Texas Health and Safety Code Section 443.204(4) is not rationally related to a legitimate governmental interest,” Livingston wrote in her final judgment. “In addition, based on the entire record in this case, the real-world effect of Texas Health and Safety Code Section 443.204(4) is so burdensome as to be oppressive in light of any legitimate government interest,” Livingston continued in her ruling. Zachary Maxwell, the president of Texas Hemp Growers, applauded Livingston’s ruling after the judge struck down the ban. “Today’s ruling is a major win for Texas’ hemp industry, and may set a new standard in similar cases across the country,” Maxwell said in a press release at the time. “The attorneys behind the Texas Hemp Legal Defense Fund fought hard, brought fact-based arguments to the courtroom and proved the undeniable financial harm caused by this cavalier ban.” Health…

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Source : Texas Supreme Court Takes Case Challenging Smokable Hemp Ban

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