LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Texas House voted to legalize the farming of industrial hemp a few months ago, but rules need to be set in place and then approved by the Texas Department of Agriculture before farmers can start planting.
Al Crisp is a cotton farmer from Lamesa and a big supporter of the hemp industry coming to Texas. He’s a member of the Texas Hemp Industries Association, a group that is working toward building an infrastructure by connecting and educating farmers on the plant, something Crisp considers to be an extremely important step to take before it is finally made legal.
“Hemp is intriguing because it is a good alternative crop that there could be a chance of more income in certain certain realms, and so it's a way to kind of bring back some good income into your smaller communities,” said Crisp.
Hemp was approved by Texas government and soon area farmers will have the go ahead to legally grow industrial hemp. Hemp, lthough from the same family, is different from marijuana because it contains little to no THC, the element that makes a person ‘high’.
“The hemp actually has about 200 different molecules in it, so the different molecules are different. Some molecules are THC, some are cannabinoids, and CBD.”
Hemp is already legal in 35 states including California and New Mexico.
“It’s a great cash crop, and it’s a 50/50 deal. People have to be aware that this could be something that if you don’t have it to lose it, you probably don’t need to get into it,” Crisp said.
That’s what Crisp and other members of the Texas Hemp Industries Association are trying to get ahead of and teach people interested in the hemp industry. The association is meant to teach farmers, bankers, and insurance companies all about what hemp is before it’s officially legalized in Texas.
“There’s some steps that have to happen, and that’s what we’re trying to do. It’s a proven - it’s a good alternating crop, but how do you get it done with no infrastructure? At this point, we have to start establishing that before it’s even possible to grow it or get financing for it,” Crisp said.
The Texas Hemp Industries Association will be holding it first regional conference around Aug. 5 and 6 in San Angelo. The conference is open to farmers, bankers, and anyone interested in becoming involved with the hemp industry once it is officially legalized. For more information, click here.