Texas has issued its first hemp license since the passage of the Farm Bill in 2018, which legalized hemp production in the United States.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller announced in a Thursday press release that the state’s first industrial hemp license went to a farmer in Killeen.
The license will permit the farmer to grow hemp in Texas for one year, launching the state’s long-awaited hemp industry.
“Let’s face it, Texas farmers and ranchers needed some good news,” says Commissioner Miller. “I am happy that I can be the one to deliver it. I know Texas farmers have been eagerly waiting for a chance at these hemp licenses and now the wait is over.”
The Texas Department of Agriculture reports that, as of Thursday, it has received 458 producer applications, 58 handler applications, and 30 handler sampler applications.
Producers are required to register a facility where the hemp will be grown and apply for a permit for each lot to be grown.
Licensees are also required to watch the Texas Department of Agriculture’s educational video about the industrial hemp program.
Commissioner Miller says that the first license is just the beginning for the Texas industrial hemp industry and that hemp offers Texas farmers a great new opportunity, but notes that high risk comes with every promise of high profit and cautions against unrealistic expectations.
Miller says his job was to get the hemp program started, and now it’s up to the farmers and processors to build the Texas hempire.