February 2023

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FDA says the regulatory frameworks for food and supplements are not appropriate for CBD

Hemp advocates have long hoped the federal government would move to regulate cannabidiol (CBD) as a dietary supplement. On January 26, however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement that the existing regulatory frameworks for food and supplements are not appropriate for CBD.

The FDA cited concerns for health and safety as the basis of its decision, especially regarding long-term use.

“Studies have shown the potential for harm to the liver, interactions with certain medications and possible harm to the male reproductive system,” the statement reads. “CBD exposure is also concerning when it comes to certain vulnerable populations such as children and those who are pregnant.”

In its statement, the FDA also made claims that CBD poses risks to animals and that humans are at risk of being “unknowingly exposed to CBD through meat, milk and eggs from animals fed CBD.”

Jonathan Miller serves as the General Counsel of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, a coalition comprised of dozens of companies and organizations committed to safe hemp and CBD products. Clapping back at the FDA’s statement, he issued a statement that flat-out accuses the agency of getting it all wrong.

“Contrary to the FDA’s continued assertions regarding the safety of CBD, there is clear,

established evidence of safety over the years. CBD products have been sold at retail for nearly a decade with no significant safety issues,” Miller’s statement reads. “The Roundtable recently met with the FDA and shared a broad range of safety studies showing that standard CBD serving sizes are safe, while the FDA continues to rely on pharmaceutical studies that show risk at significantly larger doses that are not commonly found in CBD products sold at retail.”

The Texas Hemp Coalition, a nonprofit that advocates for the Texas hemp industry, took to Instagram to express its disappointment regarding the decision. Regulating CBD as a dietary supplement is something the group has lobbied for in Washington.

“We are saddened to see their stance and hope to see more movement to support our industry in protecting CBD,” the post read. While the FDA said a new regulatory pathway for CBD would provide safeguards and oversight that minimize CBD-related risks, Texas Hemp Coalition Executive Director Ilissa Nolan said it creates more red tape.

“It’s making it so much harder for CBD products to have certain pathways for food, beverage and distribution purposes,” Nolan said. “This is prolonging us being able to move forward as an industry. It’s disappointing that these are the FDA’s concerns when it comes to the safety of CBD.”

While new CBD regulations have not been implemented at the federal level, the FDA said it will likely move to create a set of comprehensive requirements to ensure it’s safe for consumers to use. Those could include labeling requirements, contaminant prevention, CBD content limits and a minimum purchase age.

“In addition, a new pathway could provide access and oversight for certain CBD-containing products for animals,” the FDA’s statement said.

The Texas Hemp Coalition stated that it hopes the FDA will continue to work with the hemp industry to find a path forward that protects CBD and Texas’ growing market.

“We have advocated in Washington, D.C. on this very issue with little to no objection from legislators. However, FDA deems it necessary to create a more lengthy process to regulate, which could cost our industry more issues,” the statement reads.

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“Where I think they may be wrong on this is that DSHS is of the opinion that consumable hemp products for inhalation are food items,” Spencer said. “It makes no sense to me because food is defined in the act as an article used for food or drink for a man. … I do think this new interpretation of theirs is susceptible to a carefully crafted challenge that I will not give out to my competitors.”

To sum it all up, Spencer explains, “Retailers can continue to sell. If you are manufacturing or processing (smokable hemp products) here in the state, you should have stopped. Even if you are white labeling out of state but you are the one directing the process to bring it back into the state to sell, they are under the opinion now that that is an illegal act. I was pretty shocked when I read that paragraph.”

According to Spencer, if anyone is caught in noncompliance with the rules, DSHS must provide fair notice of a potential violation and the opportunity to cure any

unintentional or negligent violations, which are not defined.

“Every day that you are in violation constitutes a separate violation,” Spencer said. As far as the penalties, Spencer said, “Your guess is as good as mine. It is an administrative agency, so they should have the ability to impose a monetary fine.”

Let your voice be heard

Spencer said she finds the timing of DSHS’ announcement interesting, as it coincided with the early weeks of the legislative session.

“I don’t think they did it with the motivation to spur the hemp industry to blow up legislator’s phones, but that’s the impact it should have because it’s up to you guys listening to go do that,” she said.

Spencer notes that input from constituents is one of the most valuable things a legislator can receive, and they really do listen.

“I know there are several of you out there rolling your eyes thinking, ‘They’re not going

to listen to me.’ But listen, I work with these senators. I help draft some of these bills. I have seen research proponents as they’re preparing bills where your comments are in there, so they do hear them,” she said.

For anyone who has questions about the new regulations, Spencer recommends contacting any qualified cannabis counsel. For those who can not afford it, she recommends calling DSHS.

“DSHS is actually really helpful as an agency,” she said. “They have an email for contact and a phone number. I prefer email, obviously. I want to get any advice they give me in writing.”

Spencer also offers paid consultations and is available to represent businesses.

“If you’re a retailer and distributor who is out there who has been white labling your own products, and your revenue is enough that you want to fight for this, give me a call at 214-295-5070,” Spencer said. “They’re not bluffing. They’re going to start enforcing and giving out some citations.

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Greenhouse Goodness

Are you a plant lover looking to expand your collection yet concerned about your lack of green space? Look no further than the confines of your home. It can be equally frustrating to expand upon your love of plants especially if you don’t have a yard. You don’t need a green thumb as long as you have the right materials, setup, and proper care, you can turn your greenhouse dreams into an indoor paradise reality.

You should first decide where you want to put your plants and how large the setup should be. The location of your plants should be easily accessible, and of course, the size of your setup should be based on how much space you have and how many plants you want to grow. Most houseplants need bright, indirect light, although most will be happy with a window facing East, West, or South. If you don’t have much natural lighting in your home, you will need to buy LED Grow Bulbs for your DYI greenhouse.

Secondly, it’s important to consider the type of material you will need. Some examples can be wood, metal, or plastic framing depending on your goal. Select the right materials for your greenhouse to ensure proper ventilation, temperature, and humidity. Glass or plastic is a great choice of material since it allows light to pass through quite easily. Although if you don’t want to spend time building a greenhouse, you can store them in a vitrine or even a curio cabinet that may be ideal granted, they get light and are properly hydrated. A frame is essential to the foundation of your greenhouse. You can add ventilated plastic sheeting around the frame to trap moisture.

Next, plan your layout, including placement and any other additional features,

such as shelving and/or lighting. Consider your path and ventilation system to ensure your greenhouse is easy to navigate to (if it’s large) and maintains a healthy growing environment. Adding shelving to your greenhouse may be best if you decide to grow your collection further.

Lastly, hydration is key, depending on the types of plants you have. You should install a small humidifier and fan to help hydrate your critters in case you are not available to water your plants daily. Greenhouses can be very hot during the day, so it’s important to have a cooling system in place to regulate the temperature. You can choose to have ventilated plastic sleeves around your shelving so you can easily lift them up to let air in.

List of supplies you may need to get started:

• Cabinet or shelving (price varies)

• LED Grow lights… $35-45

• Humidifier (price varies)

• Small Fan $10-15

• Power strip $5

• Humidity meter $1

• Plastic Sheets (in case you decide to use a shelf with openings)

• Heavy Duty Stapler to staple the plastic sheets to the wood frame

Ultimately plants can be great pals for removing toxic agents in the air through a built-in air purification system they have. The addition of plants can also improve your health and has been known to sharpen your focus if you have an office or classroom. The level of difficulty to design your greenhouse is medium to low. An indoor greenhouse can help create a warm inviting space where your plants can thrive year-round. An indoor greenhouse is a great idea if you are out of town often or if you live in an area where it freezes during the winter months. You can easily control the environment of your DYI project and start enjoying your greenhouse vibes regardless of the weather outside. But remember that if you love your plants yearround, they will love you back with their endless potential! Happy Gardening!

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New York City planted its first legal marijuana shop right downstairs from the lair of Keith Richards, taking up a large amount of the space in the former Tower Records at 8th Street & Broadway. Two days before the New Year, it opened with lines wrapping around the block, and such lines were no smaller a week later.

Thousands of not-so-legal shops continued to display their rainbow cannabis leaves in popups, not just one on every street in lower Manhattan, but at times two or three in a row.

The legal product carried not only the 8.75% city and state taxes, but an excise tax of 3% on top of that. The governor and the mayor finally had their cut.

But why anyone would want to render unto Caesar any part of this puzzled me, so I questioned customers as they came out of the newly opened Housing Works Cannabis Shop. Many were loyal to the franchise, a long established thrift shop that gives its profits to AIDS patients. Others were wary of pop ups, sure they were being sold fentanyl and would get E. coli in their stash. One punter mentioned the possibility of lead poisoning.

The issue of tainted drugs is a big one here on the East Coast, with Philadelphia residents complaining that not only does fentanyl find its way into their weed, but that xylazine, an animal tranquilizer, finds its way into their fentanyl. Shops with a permit have an advantage.

Outside of Housing Works a man was giving away spliffs to advertise a shop that is set to open soon, Chozen Remedy. He explained that it had applied for a permit, but that they had not been granted one yet, and felt they must open if only to sell clothes in order to carve their niche while they waited for a permit.

The grey area is where many have been left, and there is much complaint on the streets that the city seems to have unfair, and unclear practices in the permit process. Most are ignoring it outright, content to flaunt their wares in plain

sight, certain that the NYPD has better things to do than bust smoke joints. Like, maybe, arrest corrupt politicians.

Or, brazen in the knowledge that in a metropolis whose landlords have been devastated by covid, it was a de facto policy to leave the smokers alone and let the shops at least contain tenants, they saw their chance to cash in.

Which left a rift in the cannabis world. The mayor, Eric Adams, a former traffic policeman, relished the situation, making jokes that Curtis Sliwa (founder of the Guardian Angels, who was awarded the Presidential Medal for saving people from a burning building when he was yet a teen) parodies on CATS radio.

Mayor Eric Adams tells the taxpayers that this is a ‘budding’ project, and that the world will know that the Big Apple is the ‘joint.’ But while he laughs at his own jokes, many are wary of him – including the buyers and sellers of marijuana. Almost one thousand would-be vendors who waited and got their permits are now not sure what to do. Should they invest in this, or just walk away, leaving the city with thousands of small businesses that are on a month-to-month lease and do not pay taxes? There seems to be no reign of law.

And in the absence of law, and of banking rules, thieves run riot. As I sat down to write this article, a brazen robbery occurred downtown, depriving a shop of thousands of dollars in cash. While this plays out like a circus act in a city now engulfed in marijuana smoke on every corner, another situation takes place behind the scenes, hundreds of miles away in DC. The banking issue hangs like a cloud,

which legislators have hoped to make go away with the passing of the SAFE (Secure and Fair Enforcement) Banking Act, that would give cannabis businesses access to banks. It has failed to pass twice, and with GOP control of the House it is not expected to pass in the near future. New York Congressman Ritchie Torres, a Bronx democrat, has supported this each time, and has lobbied for it and other banking measures that would help his constituents (the poorest in the nation). He is a member of the House Banking Committee, who recently fought to keep FTX from sliding out from under the supervision of the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission). FTX, and other cryptos, claimed that they would help the poor to send money more cheaply, and also to help the cannabis industry.

The NYC cannabis industry does not need the help of Sam Bankman-Fried, it does need the help of the local and federal lawmakers.

One recommendation that I would make to get that help is that it gain more support from the public by studying more closely the national hemp movement and note how people such as Jack Herer, Mina Hegaard, John Roulac and Ed Rosenthal worked to bring about both legalization of marijuana and awareness of hemp. One might also make note of Texan activists such as Anita Summers, James Johnson Jr., Suzanne Middlebrooks and Darrell Suriff – all of whom have been mentioned in this magazine. Their businesses include a much wider range of hemp products than can generally be found in NYC –including Delta 8.

As the politicians define what is legal in NYC, the NYC cannabis scene must define what it is about. Is it just here to make a buck off the public, or does it have deeper roots in society? Can it educate the residents of Gotham about all the products of Cannabis sativa while selling a range of medical compounds along with paper, clothing, hemp seeds and hemp oil, or is it just blowing smoke?

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Raw Cannabis, Is It Being Considered the New Super Food?

So did you know that cannabis is a superfood? I have been well aware of that starting over a decade ago when I started juicing leaves for health and wellness benefits. Cannabis is an incredibly unique plant that contains over 400 different chemical compounds. The number of vitamins, essential oils, and acids found in cannabis has leading experts calling cannabis a “dietary essential.” Cannabis is a particularly special plant in the world of nutrition because the herb contains extremely high concentrations of cannabinoid acids. These acids are incredibly important for human basic cell function.

Two of the primary cannabinoid acids that have been studied thus far are THCa and CBDa. When you heat these acids via smoking, vaping, or cooking cannabis you break them down into slightly different chemicals. Specifically, some degrade them into psychoactive THC and cannabinoid CBD. The process of converting these cannabinoid acids into their “active” form is known as decarboxylation, or “decarbing.” Active THC and CBD have their share of benefits, but the one major downside to decarbing is that your body can only handle small amounts of these now-activated cannabinoids.

When you eat raw cannabis, your body can process extremely large amounts of THCa and CBDa without issues for most. Your body then converts these acids into the nutrients it needs via your metabolism. Consuming these cannabinoid acids is important because they help your cells communicate with each other via the endocannabinoid system. Consuming more cannabinoid acids may be the key to preventing chronic diseases caused by endocannabinoid deficiencies. Endocannabinoid deficiencies are thought to play a major role in the development of medical conditions like:

Anti-inflammatory properties

Anti-diabetic properties

Anti-ischemic properties

CBD & THC both have medical benefits. They are also both considered safe. The World Health Organization suggests “any side effects that occur with CBD use are likely the result of drug-to-drug interactions between CBD and other medications you may be taking.”

All information in this article is for educational purposes only. The information provided is derived from research gathered from external sources. Please check with your Cannabis Educated Primary Health Care Physician or Cannabis Therapy Consultant before beginning any new diet or lifestyle change.

Dr. Pepper Hernandez ND, CTC, CNHP is a Naturopathic Nutritionist, Cannabis Therapy Consultant, and the Founder and Education Director of the Cannabis Holistic Institute.

To find out more about her private practice, educational programs, videos, and other offerings you can find her on the massive inter-webs, social platforms, or at drpepperhernandez.com.

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An open letter to the 88th Texas Legislature

Looking forward to a productive and prosperous session for cannabis.

Ithink it’s fair to say that last session was a misfire at minimum for all fronts involving cannabis.

Industry advocates and the 87th legislature watched as penalty reduction was killed, and it was a domino effect from the failure of delta-8 THC restrictions being placed on the hemp cleanup bill. The hemp cleanup bill failed over the same issue. The medical bill was basically gutted of its biggest key components by the time it was sent to the governor, and it barely made it to his desk on time in the end. That result has an appearance of being from the delta-8 situation as well.

There were legitimate concerns to address in the cannabis industry in all of those areas mentioned before. There seemed to be a trend though that if one thing couldn’t be dealt with in a flat out ban, that the baby needed to go out with

the bathwater. That what many would call a knee-jerk reaction, was desired by some. We don’t have to do it that way though, do we?

I personally figure that since everyone I’ve met in the legislative sessions serving as a Representative or a Senator have college educations, that we would all be smart enough to iron out the details for issues like this. I know that a lot of people, with a lot of interests and quite a few ideas are coming into your offices. I know that most of them mean well when it comes to discussing the issues of cannabis. But it appears that sometimes that the message the advocate message sender

presented to the representative message receiver, was not fully clear and understood. Or perhaps the message was misunderstood.

An example of this may be that an advocate has presented that cannabis be regulated similarly to how the state of Texas regulates alcohol or tobacco. This does not mean though that the advocate is saying that cannabis and cannabinoids work the same way alcohol does when ingested by the human body. Setting a limit of 0.3%thc by volume doesn’t scientifically designate that a person cannot become intoxicated the same way as alcohol when ingesting legal hemp products. It does not mean that a person will test negative on a THC drug test. It does not mean that someone testing positive for THC on a drug test was ingesting marijuana above 0.3%THC by volume.

The concept of asking to regulate something like alcohol, is asking to put rules in place where the sale of the substance is similar to that of alcohol to solve the same problems the industry could face if it was selling alcohol over the counter.

Just like alcohol, many advocates in the industry wish for these products to only be available to adults for sale. The same way alcohol is age gated with its sales practices. Many advocates wish for the products to be sold in a fashion that minors cannot get easy access to in a story as if it was candy or chips. The same way we deal with cigarettes in a store.

There’s also an issue of the use of the word synthetics, without even starting to discuss the chemical compounds on their own.

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From my understanding there is a federal version for the definition of synthetics and then there will be what the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) defines as synthetics when it comes to cannabis and specifically hemp products. If the definition decided upon is one where any chemical goes through a mechanical process or chemical process to produce a new product, the cannabis oil market is dead altogether.

Isolates for CBD are going through one of those two processes. The same goes for a full spectrum hemp oil extract. The extract process itself is being banned when synthetic is defined as such.

Say that DSHS decided instead to say that a synthetic was defined as any compound created by a mechanical or chemical process of hemp compounds found naturally in the plant that creates a new compound not found naturally in a hemp/cannabis plant. If the goal was to get Delta-8 (D-8) off the market, that language would not solve the problem either. D-8 naturally occurs in the plant.

The fact that D-8 may be miniscule in the plant naturally, still keeps it legal and for some companies, a viable product. I’ve told many colleagues and readers in the past this following analogy to understand

how that is so. How much fun can one have with a single grain of sand? How much health and pleasure could one get from trying to enjoy a day on a single grain of sand no bigger than the ball in a pen? It’s not enough to be significant on its own. But what is a beach made up of if not but about a billion grains of sand every square foot?

The same thing takes place with delta-8 in cannabis. If you process enough plants, your delta-8 grain of sand becomes a delta-8 beach.

Yes, taking this route will eliminate any cannabinoid that was not found naturally in the plant before. Does this make the final products safer? Not if you ultimately thought delta-8 was harmful on its own.

I’d personally think there should be some logic and consistency with that line of thought and carry it over to the rest of the plant. But that is apparently not true for a big chunk of our legislative makeup, as a vast majority have been in favor of medical benefits from the plant.

As well, it is understandable that there would be concerns about an item that can be foreign to quite a few of our elected officials. But those concerns should not be addressed as fears. They aren’t putting any elected official into a fight or flight mode. They’re concerns and advocates should be

able to address those concerns with logic and reason. All I ask is that the legislature be willing to listen.

I don’t have a business stake in the industry regarding any form of cannabis. I have volunteered by time and effort for the last 5 years of my life because I have a stake in our society, my community, and state as I live here. I am a medically retired veteran with a family that includes a child. I understand that parents want to make sure their children of any age up to the point where they are adults making their own decisions, aren’t able to easily be placed into harm’s way by neglectful or bad actors. That’s why we create laws and ordinances for things like alcohol. We put down rules that define who the bad actors are and then we enforce those rules. The enforcers must enforce the rules though as well regarding bad actors in the industry. For an industry that was left to be on its own for several years, it did an ok job of weeding out some bad actors. It took quite a bit of education to the general public, but it’s happening. It’s also going to require that the enforcers of new laws know that the new laws exist. I hope that this can begin to start a new conversation on the topic of cannabis and hemp in Texas, as this is really just the tip of the iceberg.

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Texas meets every two years, and our current TCUP/Medical marijuana program is capped at 1% and there are other limitations to their program, I anticipate that

getting sorted out in the next two to six years in legislation before you begin to see recreational legalization on the horizon. Another major plot twist to throw into all

of this is the fact that during this time, hemp became federally legal and state legal allowing for up to .3% Delta 9 THC on a dry weight basis. Almost all these mature marijuana states like Colorado, California, and Oregon legalized medical, then adult use, then hemp. But in Texas we have a different call to order. We’re slowly expanding medical into a mature program, then hemp became legalized, and we’re still advocating for adult use.

I’m not going to pretend like I know how things are going to go in Texas, but I’m paying attention to the market across our the United States and paying attention to Texas politics. It’s going to be an exciting Texas Legislative session, and I hope you’ll be following along. I’m a part of an organization called the Texas Hemp Coalition, they are going to be leading a lot of advocacy and policy work for the hemp industry this session, so if you want to get more involved please check them out. Otherwise conversations like this can always be found at ToBeBluntpod.com.

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New Study on PTSD

Texas Cannabis Clinic, Texas’ leading medical cannabis doctor, along with Texas Original dispensary (TXOG), released results in March 2022 from its clinical evaluation of their post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) focus group. Focus group participants sampled TXOG’s gummy, lozenge and tincture products at various dosages based on individual prescriptions from their physicians.

Dr. Brimberry’s 90 day PTSD focus group assessment noted the medicine was well tolerated and no patient discontinued treatment due to medicinal side effects.

Key findings from the assessment also included:

• Overall PTSD symptoms in the focus group were reduced 47% from an initial PCL-5 mean score of 54.3 to 28.6 after 90 days.

• 93% of patients experienced decreased symptom severity, while 86% of the group showed a clinically significant reduction in PTSD symptoms.

• At the end of the 90-day focus group, 71% of the group achieved PTSD remission—defined as a PCL-5 score of less than 33—while using TXOG’s product.

“My team and I have served hundreds of Texans suffering from PTSD, cancer and other debilitating conditions. Introducing medical cannabis into their treatment plans has been truly life-changing,” said Dr. Brimberry. “As a physician, my goal is to alleviate a patient’s symptoms to the best of my ability, improve their quality of life and better their long-term prognosis. To

observe the participants of TXOG’s PTSD focus group experience such a dramatic, positive change in their symptoms has been extraordinary and conclusively demonstrates the impact medical cannabis can have in treatment.”

The focus group was composed exclusively of veterans clinically diagnosed with PTSD and were evaluated for: symptom response, patient product preference and medical cannabis’ potential to reduce traditional pharmaceutical consumption. Participants reported a reduction in pain, decreased nightmares, better sleep and improved mood while using TXOG’s medical cannabis products.

“This observational study echoes what veterans have been telling us. Medicinal cannabis should be considered as one of the first-line treatment options for PTSD. We are seeing significantly better results with cannabis when compared to conventional pharmacotherapy,” Dr. Brimberry added.

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Former NFL Running Back Ricky Williams Launches Highsman Cannabis Lifestyle Brand

Every year since 1935, the Heisman Trophy has recognized the best American college football player. In 1998, the honor fell on University of Texas running back Ricky Williams.

Williams went on to play 11 seasons in the National Football League (NFL) and one season with the Canadian Football League (CFL). During his time in the NFL, Williams failed several drug tests for marijuana — which even spurred an early retirement in 2004.

Williams returned to the Miami Dolphins in 2005 but was suspended for the entire 2006 season after failing yet another drug test (that’s when he spent a year playing for the CFL). In 2007, Williams returned to the Dolphins, where he remained until 2010. He spent a season playing with the

Baltimore Ravens before retiring from the NFL a second time in 2011.

After putting his career on the line multiple times, it’s obvious Williams is a big fan of cannabis. Clearly, using the herb didn’t stop him from breaking NFL records. Now, Williams is encouraging others to “spark greatness” through his Highsman cannabis lifestyle brand. Visit highsman.com to browse Williams’ products, which include three categories of cannabis flower:

• Pregame: An energizing lineup of gamechanging sativas with terpene profiles proven to promote motivation and alertness.

• Halftime: A balanced collection of unique hybrids with terpene profiles naturally designed to create a smooth, leveled euphoria.

• Postgame: A roster of recovery-focused indicas fueled by terpenes that promote pain relief, relaxation and better sleep. Fans can also buy apparel on the site

— from jackets and hoodies to beanies and sweatpants. Highsman also features an assortment of water bottles, stickers, rolling trays and more.

Williams’ new venture has caught the attention of major media outlets like Forbes, Market Watch and the New York Post. To Williams, it’s obvious Highsman is more than just another cannabis brand. The website describes it as “an elite mentality that is defined by an appreciation for greatness.”

Through the years, Williams has been vocal about his relationship with cannabis, revealing that it has helped him to manage his anxiety.

“Ricky was scrutinized by the NFL and sports fans alike throughout his career, but he knew that restricting his cannabis consumption meant restricting who he truly was as an individual,” the website explains.

Be sure to follow @highsman on Instagram to get the latest updates.

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Introducing Clayton Moore of the Texas Hemp Conversion Program at Texas A&M University

What are you currently working on?

I am currently breeding hemp for fiber, grain and cannabinoids in my Hemp Conversion Program, mainly to be southern adapted meaning heat and drought tolerant. I am also selecting for complaint plants under the 0.3% Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) limit.

How long are you in your schooling there and I understand that you won a scholarship from PurIso Labs last November when we met at the Texas Hemp Summit.

Welcome to the Texas Hemp Reporter Clayton, tell us about your yourself and the work that you’ve been doing at this Texas A&M Industrial Hemp Breeding program. Howdy, my name is Clayton Moore. I’ve been working with A&M Agrilife as an undergraduate researcher for a year and 9 months now. I do research in the Industrial Hemp breeding program with Dr. Russell Jessup. The project I am currently running is the Hemp Conversion Program, I reach out to breeders and growers all around the world within 30 degree north latitude and 30 degrees south latitude. I ask for a donation of a miniscule amount of pollen to cross with our southern adapted and THC compliant hemp varieties. and the program was recently awarded a USDAARS grant to expand into a ‘Compliant Hemp Accelerated Improvement Network (C.H.A.I.N.). We will have over 20 different populations of hemp growing in all southern coastal states. I also received the Undergraduate Research Support Award that was given by the university that has not been awarded to a student in the past 7 years. Graduate student research assistant is another role I have.

I graduate in the Spring of 2024 with a B.S. Plant and Environmental Soil Science degree and a minor in Plant Breeding. I also run a fully recognized student organization called the Cannabis Hemp Innovation League (C.H.I.L.) at Texas A&M University. We are academic and research based giving our members opportunities such as undergraduate research, internships, scholarships and real time with cannabis industry leaders. Our first meeting last Fall had over 100 students attend in person with over 51 different majors. We gave $1,500 in scholarships our first semester and plan to give away $3,000 this Spring. PurIso Labs gave us $1,000 to give away for an essay competition. Rare Earth Genomics also gave us $1,000 for organization funding. We had our graduate and undergraduates present their research and had industry professionals such as Texas Original and a cultivator from Oklahoma named Jace Rivera teaching Korean Natural Farming & JADAM practices for commercial production.

How about how many students are enrolled in this program with Dr. Russell Jessup?

In the Industrial Hemp Breeding Program we have 5 graduate students and 5 undergraduate students.

Your also head of the CHIL student organization.. Cannabis Hemp Inovation League. What is your goal with this new group?

I have a vision for the Cannabis Hemp Innovation League to become a national organization to have chapters at different Universities that are capable of having cannabis research within their college.

As a 8th generation Texan where do you see this plant going as an Industrial crop?

As an eighth generation Texan, I see hemp being a great commodity for the Texas & US market, whether it is producing fibers for construction materials, producing grains for animal feed, human consumption, bio-fuels or even cannabinoids as an alternative medication to prescription drugs like opioids. The industrial hemp market for 2021 was approximated at 4.5 billion dollars and is estimated to be at 17.2 billion by 2030. This crop will provide more jobs and opportunities to individuals who want to make our planet healthier and more sustainable.

What have you learned the most in the last few years as a student in this growing space here in Texas?

I’ve learned that you won’t get everything from class but the University has definitely given me the tools I need to be successful in this industry. The University has taught me the basic sciences behind agriculture

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and how to apply them to hemp. Any student who wants to be successful in this industry one day needs to network and

push themselves to do more research out in the real world. I built C.H.I.L. by reaching out to industry professionals and asking for

their advice and to share their knowledge from their own experiences. Do you also study the cbd or canabinoid free aspect of the Plants?

We study the major cannabinoids like CBG, CBD, THC and the receptors which they bind to from Cannabis. We do all of our compliance testing on a High Performance Liquid Chromatography machine that gives us a full certificate of analysis of all the cannabinoids that are present in our testing material. We are also researching the smaller cannabinoids such as D8, HHC, THC-O, THC-V, etc.

How can folks learn more about CHIL and your podcast?

Students, teachers or any individual who is interested in the Cannabis Hemp Innovation League can find out more information at chilclub.com. Our Texas A&M University chapter’s instagram is @ tamuchil.

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Local Lawyer Establishes ‘The New Cradle of American Freedom’

For the past 10 months, Austin attorney Adam Reposa has been operating his cannabis delivery service, ATX Budtenders, in Travis County. He hasn’t been quiet about it, either. And with the recent decriminalization of simple marijuana possession in neighboring San Marcos, he is expanding operations south, calling his delivery area “The New Cradle of American Freedom.

“Now understand, here at ATX Budtenders, we’re not just selling weed. We are purveying American freedom,” Reposa said. “What that means is America has had the blight of a long, drug-on drug war, and now — as we sit here and try to figure out who’s going to pat themselves on the back for finally putting an end to this bullsh*t — we’ve gotten to the point that nobody’s getting prosecuted, and nobody is actually enforcing the law. But yet, we’re still afraid to say that selling marijuana is legal.”

While working as a defense attorney for the past two decades, Reposa has built somewhat of an eccentric reputation with his outspokenness and satirical YouTube videos. He also

boasts one of the highest jury acquittal rates in Travis County, making him a tough and highly sought-after defender. Through his latest pot-peddling venture, Reposa said he hopes to shine a bright light on the ridiculousness of Texas marijuana laws.

“Right now, you could not get arrested in Austin for possessing marijuana if you tried. Now, maybe if you go shoot at someone or assault someone and you possess marijuana while you do it, maybe you might get a charge tacked on, but you can walk up the streets waving an ounce of weed, and you will never get arrested, and I don’t even think they’ll take your weed,” Reposa said.

De Facto Legalization

There are two types of legalization — de jure and de facto. De jure legalization means something is on the books as legally protected. De facto legalization refers to something that is routinely accepted in society even in the absence of protective laws.

In cities like Austin and San Marcos where low-level marijuana offenses are decriminalized (and therefore enforcement budgets eliminated), the perfect environment exists for de facto legalization, Reposa said.

“De facto legalization is kind of like a citizen’s arrest, only in the legislative form,” Reposa said, citing the concept as part of his rationale for launching ATX Budtenders.

After years of governmental cannabis prohibition, he argues, “They don’t get to

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Catch our interview with Adam Reposa on Episode 110 of the Texas Hemp Show podcast.

decide the terms in which it’s over.”

As Texas lobbyists take to the capitol to advocate for cannabis reform during the ongoing 88th legislative session, Reposa is taking a much different approach.

“I’m more about, ‘Just put all of us in prison or shut the f*ck up, and those are your choices,’” he said.

Reposa said he is 0% worried about the federal government interfering with ATX Budtenders because, “it’s not their game,” he said. “It’s the state’s game.”

In his own mind, Reposa has struck a deal with the system.

“Law enforcement gets to keep cocaine, meth, heroin and fentanyl, and we get the weed,” he said. “And we’re going to make that the deal or they’re going to have to arrest us.”

Mr. Chinga Comes to Town

ATX Budtenders delivers its products in packaging prominently branded as “Mr. Chinga” — its exclusive brand. The business boasts an extensive menu of THC flower, live resin vapes, wax and gummies. Reposa uses the word “chinga” as a synonym for cannabis, and he invites everyone to join him in “The Chingaverse.”

“It’s where we all buy, sell, grow and enjoy chinga — that’s what we do,” Reposa said. “We

understand the importance of chinga. It helps you with stress. Who knows — maybe it cures cancer. But it’s definitely here to stay, and we are not going to ever let somebody tell us we can’t have our chinga anymore. It’s our chinga, and you can’t take it.”

Above all, Reposa said his mission is to “demand an end to the straight hate that has plagued our great state.”

“We’re going to get rid of that straight hate that comes out of the haterdome,” he said. “We can do it. We can turn this Texas franchise around and make it the America we were promised.”

At ATX Budtenders, the bud assortment is broken into six color categories ranging in price from $75 to $200 an ounce. As an ongoing special, ATX Budtenders offers Super Boof, a top-shelf hybrid with fruity notes, for $150 an ounce.

“It’s the livest fruity weed around,” Reposa said. “Plus, there’s nothing wrong with an everyday standard, and Super Boof is so good, I think it can be everyone’s everyday weed.”

The full menu is updated regularly and can be viewed at atxbudtenders.com.

Sexy Dance Moves for Sale

Reposa also wants to make it clear that he is not technically selling cannabis. “I’m selling sexy dance moves, and we give away the weed for free,” he said, alluding to similar loopholes that have been observed in corporations.

Order Online, Pay in Person

While the bulk of business has been conducted solely through text, ATX Budtenders is now taking online orders. Visit atxbudtenders.com to place yours, but please note that you will still have to pay cash for the products upon delivery. ATX Budtenders does not accept Venmo or Cashapp.

Follow the QR code to view the ATX Budtenders menu and place an order.

Texas Hemp Coalition Q&A Column

Meet Aaron Owens, Founder of Tejas Hemp

Why did you get into the hemp industry?

Pretty simple really, a genuine and sincere love for cannabis. Funny anecdote: I got caught with the first cannabis plants I ever tried to grow by my parents at the age of seventeen. Dad wasn’t impressed…haha. After he took those 4 plants from me, he just about wore my bottom out. What’s even funnier, is that later my stepmom tried to bake these plants whole in the oven without letting me know, and ended up smoking out the whole house. Dad was NOT happy, with either of us! Then, just to wrap it up, he found all the plants growing in my flower bed that where I had been discarding my seeds outside my back door later that year. Poor guy. Let’s just say a sincere interest and a wealth of experience and study has brought me to the point of Tejas Hemp today. We are VERY happy to be legal, and even better here at home in Texas.

Tell me about your company? What does it specialize in?

What Tejas Hemp has always focused on is creating the absolute most effective formulations from hemp scientifically possible. Everyone likes to make money, but that is far from why we got into this business. We are here because I love cannabis almost as much as I love helping people…and ranching. We have put years at this point into R&D on processes that preserve the presence and integrity of the most delicate molecules present in the Hemp plant’s precious medicinal oils. We are the EXACT and EXTREME OPPOSITE of CBD Isolate. The cannabis plant has many different assets. For extraction purposes, these two main assets are simply Terpene, or Essential,” Oil and Cannabinoid Oil. Tejas focuses on extracting these two assets separately in

their completeness and entirety with an absolute minimum adulteration. Once extracted, the Terpene Oil is then reintroduced into the cannabinoid oil at the

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point of formulation, meaning that it’s concentration can then be managed. This is by far the most complicated, slow, and expensive way to extract and formulate; but by far, and without question, the most effective formulation process that exists in all of Cannabis worldwide.

For production, we farm the most cutting-edge genetics, with cannabinoid and terpene profiles that exist nowhere else in the world; and I do mean that. This provides us the opportunity to make different symptom specific formulations for things like general aches and pains (RELIEF), Parkinson’s Disease (RELIEF), High Stress (CHILL), Sleep Apnea (SLEEP), Obesity (SKINNY), or even Diabetes (FOCUS).

For 2023, we are entering the mainstream recreational space with our beverage product, Tejas Tonic. Super exciting!! Tejas Tonic is a 16oz can of tasty bubble water, has a hint of Lime, and is infused with organic hemp derived terpenes and full spectrum cannabinoid oil. Each has 25mg of naturally occurring full spectrum CBD that includes 5mg Delta 9 THC; all at a 2:1 ratio with our in-house Hemp derived terpenes. Tejas Tonic tastes good, is sugar free, and non-alcoholic. It’s not over the top in strength or flavor and can be enjoyed by Cannabis and Non-Cannabis users with all levels of experience. Think Topo Chico and Lime, but with Cannabis! For 2023, Tejas Tonic is what we will be specializing in :)

What do you think are the main challenges within this industry?

Education and Infrastructure. There is an immense lack of education in the industry here in Texas, and everywhere for that matter. This unfortunately allows people to have their ignorance taken advantage of and falsely elevates products that are not really what they claim to be; all while providers are capturing substantial margins based on fiction. Surely with time and exposure this will get better though for not only users, but also conscious manufacturers and providers. The infrastructure challenge comes on the production side. For farmers, cannabinoids are not going to be what gets things moving on the traditional Texas scale, but rather hemp production for true industrial applications. For now, if a

Texas producer raises livestock, there’s an opportunity to haul a trailer to town once a week and drop off livestock at the sale barn. Texas has supply chain infrastructure to take possession of these farm/ ranch products, as well the ability to cut a check for the farmer/rancher the same day. This does not exist for Hemp. If you produce 5000 acres of industrial hemp, there is not currently anywhere in the State of Texas to haul your lot. There’s no sale barn, no hemp gin, no industrial processing facilities.

For now, we do not have supply chain infrastructure to process and manage real industrial hemp products like fiber, hurds, and grain, etc. This is the single largest challenge with not only the State of Texas, but the overall American Hemp Industry all together. Once these facilities are created and become accessible, Hemp farmers will finally have a real opportunity to produce industrial hemp at scale. This is when true Texas agriculture producers will have the opportunity to mature in hemp production and processing, to become the global leader that we are poised to be.

What is the most important advice that you would give individuals who are looking to get involved in this industry?

The smartest thing someone can do if they want to create a successful business in the Industrial Hemp Industry, is to start by creating their own demand. Then, after success, they can begin working backwards up the supply chain. If you start with creating your own demand, you can then work step by step backwards up the supply chain into manufacturing, then processing, then maybe even to the point of production/farming. But build your brand first! Very few people will pull this off. If you start with production, then try to work towards processing, manufacturing, and then sales, you are fighting an almost impossible battle. What I have learned is that unless you have an expansive pocketbook with substantial staying power, you will likely find that aligning with others who are professionals in their own capacity at the different core points along the supply chain is the most effective and efficient business decision. There are really no supply chains in agriculture where vertical integration from actual

seed to sale are anywhere near possible for ninety-nine percent of folks. And if they are, they are very challenging to scale. Start small and start with building demand before you make any substantial investments. That’s my best advice.

What do you hope to see for the future of the hemp industry in Texas?

Infrastructure development, and access to real patients. As I described before, once material management and processing infrastructure is built out, Texas farmers will finally have an opportunity to become a real leader in Industrial Hemp production. Until then, if we could somehow figure out a way to access patients who could really benefit from what we are making now, which are cannabinoid focused products, that would be great. As I mentioned before, whether it’s Parkinson’s Disease, sleep disorders, fibromyalgia, or even Diabetes, we are already making effective remedies that help with these symptoms; but it’s hard for those folks to sift through all the non-sense to find what they need, as well equally hard for us providers to access these real patients. Let’s be direct.

There are more superior medicinal solutions coming from the Hemp Industry currently than have ever come out of the Compassionate Use program for example, not to mention that these hemp derived solutions are more affordable and accessible. I’m not trying to put the medical program down; but this is the current truth and reality. Hopefully over time, all Cannabis education will increase, and easier accessibility to safe and effective solutions will be the norm.

Include your links to your social media and how to contact you/your business:

For now, you can find us at TejasHemp. com or on Social @tejashemp; but be looking for TejasTonic.com and @TejasTonic very soon!

The Texas Hemp Coalition’s goal is to provide industry specific information to growers, processors and entities that are involved in the Texas Hemp Industry. We will serve as an advocacy, educational and networking liaison to reputable entities within the hemp industry.

Visit www.texashempcoalition.org for more information and membership availabilities.

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