During debate Wednesday, senators underlined that fact.
“Can this stuff be smoked?” Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, asked the bill sponsor. “Nowadays people smoke anything.”
No, Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, answered. The bill expressly prohibits processing or manufacturing hemp products for smoking, Perry added, and retailers selling CBD productsÂ for human consumption would have to be registered with the state.
Other Republicans backed Perry up.Â
“This is no slippery slope toward marijuana,” said Sen. Pete Flores, R-San Antonio. GOP Sen. Charles Schwertner of Georgetown added, “I want to clarify so the people of Texas know â€” this is not legalized marijuana.”
Perry said passing this bill would be a boonÂ to farmers,Â who want to cash in on the drought-resistant crop: “When Texas does something and does it right, we usually become the market leaders.”
If it becomes law, thisÂ legislation would markÂ the first meaningful change to Texas’ hemp and marijuana passed this year. Several other bills to expand the state’s medical cannabis laws and lower penalties for marijuana possession are still being debated.
Austin Bureau Chief Robert T. Garrett contributed to this report.