Earlier this month, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a invoice that may legalize industrial hemp and CBD merchandise.

Now, some county prosecutors are grappling with the fallout with the brand new legislation—particularly, what to do with greater than 200 pot-related offenses.

The district lawyer’s workplace in Tarrant County, Texas has dismissed 235 marijuana misdemeanors which were filed since June 10, in line with the Fort Price Star-Telegram. 

These misdemeanors now require lab checks. However there’s one huge dilemma: below the brand new legislation, most labs within the state are unable to distinguish between marijuana, hemp and hemp-related merchandise. The brand new legislation in Texas, signed by Abott on June 10 and went into impact instantly, permits farmers within the state to domesticate hemp for industrial functions, whereas additionally clarifying which CBD merchandise are authorized.

The signing of the legislation got here on the heels of Congress’ passage of the 2018 Farm Invoice in December, which eliminated an enormous impediment for states by making hemp authorized on the federal degree. However each the federal legislation and the brand new state legislation in Texas sophisticated longstanding authorized definitions of what constituted marijuana and hemp. Beneath the brand new legal guidelines, the focus of THC can be the chief issue distinguishing the 2.

In testimony earlier than the Houston Forensic Science Board earlier this month, James Miller, a seized drug analyst, stated the brand new legal guidelines — which outline hemp as containing lower than .3% THC and marijuana as something above that threshold — “caught numerous us abruptly.”

With a view to conduct the mandatory testing, Miller stated, legal guidelines would require extra tools.

As such, Tarrant County District Legal professional Sharen Wilson informed the Fort Price Star-Telegram {that a} “lab report in our estimation is now a requirement of the crime as a result of it’s the one method you’ll be able to inform authorized from unlawful.” Many of the dismissed circumstances, in line with Wilson, have been for possession of two ounces or much less of marijuana

These checks “may very well be fairly costly as a result of it’s uncommon,” Wilson stated, including that her workplace is near discovering a viable lab.

“We expect we discovered two,” Wilson stated. “I’ll be speaking with our police businesses about what these labs are in order that they’ll get that wanted lab outcome and refile the case.”

The invoice to legalize industrial hemp drew bipartisan help within the Texas state legislature, with each Democrats and Republicans alike applauding what they stated may very well be a boon for native farmers.

Sid Miller, the state’s agriculture commissioner, stated that “Texas can be a frontrunner in hemp manufacturing.”

“This can be one other instrument for farmers that need to diversify their farming operations,” Miller stated.

Greater than 40 states have legal guidelines permitting for industrial hemp.