CBD stores sprout up in Houston in the wake of hemp legalization

But authorities are grappling with how to determine whether or not a CBD product is from hemp or marijuana

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Hemp dispensaries selling CBD products are starting to pop up in Houston, Houston Public Media reports.

Texas authorities legalized the commercial production and sale of hemp last year, leading to the uptick in business. Hemp is a strain of cannabis species but contains a minuscule amount of THC – which causes pot users to get high – and a higher concentration of CBD. The law brought the state in line with the federal Farm Bill legalizing hemp and derivatives, including CBD.

A company called The Healing Leaf is about to open it’s fifth store in Texas. General manager Gary Utsey told Houston Public Media that the store is marketing CBD as medicinal to treat epilepsy and a wide range of illnesses and ailments, including stress and depression.

“Anxiety, stress, PTSD, which we see a lot of, inflammation, arthritis, joint pain naturally,” he said. “Those are the benefits you’re going to see off the top for everybody.”

Before the legislation passed, laws surrounding CBD were ambiguous. There was debate around whether or not CBD was already legal as it hadn’t been deemed illegal.

Texas law enforcement is grappling with how to determine whether or not a CBD product is from hemp or marijuana. Crime labs in the state are unable to test for THC, leading to confusion, wrongful arrests and dropped cases involving people possessing CBD or hemp.

For future cases, many district attorneys in the state are holding onto evidence while awaiting new test methodologies.