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Limestone County farmer now licensed to grow hemp

Posted at 10:58 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 12:58:10-04

LIMESTONE COUNTY, TX — After nearly two years, Texas farmers are finally able to grow hemp legally.

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the commercial production of hemp -- allowing states to submit plans for hemp programs.

The Lone Star state jumped on board after months of paperwork and now farmers like Sonny Bever are off and running.

"As soon as the Department of Agriculture dropped their last domino, we got the paperwork in, and got approved to grow here in Texas," Bever said.

Bever is one of a few hundred Texans permitted to grow hemp in Texas soil.

"We just kicked it in high gear trying to prep the soil and land," Bever said.

Once farmers like Bever begin growing hemp, there are strict regulations.

The federal government considers hemp as cannabis containing no more than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight.

"That is our biggest hurdle," Bever said. "As we grow, we have to test [the plants] ... with the climate here that will affect the levels."

Bever hopes to plant 60,000 hemp plants -- so far 700 are in soil.

Bever said hemp can become a strong market in Texas and wants to expand his business nationally.

"We ship from California to Florida, so hopefully that continues to spread and grow," Bever said.

Bever says the fiber industry could also boom soon, which would allow hemp farmers to further grow their business.

The signed bill by Governor Greg Abbott also allows the retail sale of consumable hemp products that contain CBD, along with other edible parts of the cannabis plant.