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Texas Department of State Health Services seeking applicants to manufacture or sell hemp products

State health officials are now accepting applications for those who want to produce and sell consumable hemp products.

AUSTIN, Texas — Have you ever wanted to grow hemp for your own profit? Now's your chance!

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has launched its "Consumable Hemp Program" to help regulate the manufacturing, processing, distribution and retail sale of consumable hemp products. And now the department is accepting applications online for licenses and retail registrations.

"The program establishes a consistent regulatory framework for consumable hemp products that are manufactured or sold in Texas," said Stephen Pahl, DSHS associate commissioner for consumer protection. “We worked with stakeholders to develop rules that provide clarity for license and registration holders."

As of Sunday, a license is required to manufacture, process and distribute consumable hemp products. The fee for a first license, which is valid for one year, is $258 per facility.

RELATED: Texas to end retail outlet sales of legal smokable cannabis

Retailers that are now selling these products, including those containing cannabinoids, must register each location where the products are sold by Oct. 2. The fee for initial registration, which is also valid for one year, is $155 per location.

"I want to thank all the folks that worked on these rules and look forward to Texans leading the way in the exciting hemp industry," said Rep. Tracy O. King, who authored House Bill 1325 that allows industrial hemp crops and products in Texas.

In addition to enforcing licensing and registration, the DSHS will conduct random testing of consumable hemp products. They could be tested for the presence of heavy metals, harmful pathogens, pesticides, residual solvents and the concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

RELATED: The first cannabis hemp farm sets up shop outside of Boerne

“With the passage of the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill, Texas was seeing an exponential influx of products derived from, or including hemp, from lipsticks, to lotions, to CBD oils,” said Sen. Charles Perry, Senate sponsor of HB 1325. “These products were coming from states and countries that may not require robust testing or labeling. House Bill 1325 added some of the strongest consumer protections in the nation to ensure these products are safe for consumers. I am pleased to see that these safeguards are being implemented by DSHS to help guarantee our fellow Texans will be purchasing safe products.”

A consumable hemp product is defined as a food, drug, device or cosmetic that contains industrial hemp or hemp-derived cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD). These products cannot contain more than 0.3% concentration of THC.