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Texas District Court judge rules 'entire' smokable hemp ban unconstitutional

Judge Lora Livingston of the 261st District Court in Travis County sent a letter on Monday with her ruling.

AUSTIN, Texas — A Travis County District Court Judge has ruled a Texas smokable hemp ban unconstitutional.

According to Texas Hemp Growers, Judge Lora Livingston of the 261st District Court sent a letter Monday with her ruling in the case Crown Distributing LLC, et al. v. Texas Department of State Health Services, et al. Livingston said in the letter that a final judgment should be prepared and submitted for her signature soon.

In the ruling, Livingston said Section 443.204(4) of the Texas Health and Safety Code and Section 122.301(b) of the Texas Agriculture Code violate the Texas Constitution.

Section 443.204(4) of the Health and Safety code says “the processing or manufacturing of a consumable hemp product for smoking is prohibited.” Section 122.301(b) of the Agriculture Code says a state agency “may not authorize a person to manufacture a product containing hemp for smoking.”

Livingston also wrote that “25 Texas Administrative Code Section 300.104 is invalid in its entirety.” Section 300.104 of this code is related to the manufacturing and sale of hemp.

Livingston also granted a permanent injunction against the Texas Department of State Health Services from enforcing the ban via the sections above.

"Today's ruling is a major win for Texas' hemp industry, and may set a new standard in similar cases across the country," President of Texas Hemp Growers Zachary Maxwell said in a release. "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."

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