KELLER, Texas — Even as cannabidiol (CBD) retailers have proliferated across DFW, questions about the legality of the product have dogged shop owners in recent months. But a bill that sits on Governor Greg Abbott's desk may clear up any legal issues and make hemp-derived CBD products legal under state law.
"What it would mean for us is to put us in line and eliminate all that gray area," said Chrissy Crowell, owner of Your CBD Store Keller.
Crowell opened her shop on Main Street near Old Town Keller last October. She has worked hard be a part of the community of businesses there, joining the Chamber of Commerce and taking pride in the design of her shop. It's far from a head shop where some might expect to find CBD products. There's no paraphernalia or pipes anywhere, just soft pastel walls, comfortable couches and little bottles of hope.
"My background is in interior design," Crowell explained.
She wanted her store to feel like a boutique or spa. While she's seen all kinds of customers come in her door since she opened, most often she sees middle aged women who are dealing with pain.
"They're going through something and they're needing help," said Crowell.
Crowell was a stay-at-home mom before she opened shop. She said she's found CBD oil helpful in treating her own pain problems. But when she opened last October, she had no idea how painful or at least frustrating a CBD business can be. When she opened, she believed that CBD products were made legal by a change in federal law. However, it did not quell questions, particularly in Tarrant County where the District Attorney has asserted that all CBD products are illegal under state law except for a narrow category of epilepsy patients with a doctor's prescription.
"It's really challenged us to get to know the laws better and know what's going on," said Crowell.
That is why Crowell has been closely monitoring the progress of House Bill 1325 in Austin. The bill has been approved by the Texas House and Senate and was sent to Governor's desk today. It would essentially bring Texas in line with Federal law, legalizing the farm of hemp and also permitting hemp-derived products like CBD oil as long as they have less than .3% THC by dry weight.
Crowell said her products which are labeled 0% THC are tested and verified by an independent lab, but this law would give some margin for hemp-derived CBD products without risking legal consequences. The Governor's office has not yet responded to a question from WFAA on whether or when he intends to sign, but Crowell said she expects it to become law soon.
The Tarrant County District Attorney's Office said they are awaiting the decision from Austin and will ultimately follow the law.
That would be a relief not just to Crowell but to some of the customers at the shop who are deciding whether to try her product.
"I've read a lot of good stuff, so I'm praying it will help me," said Irene Christiansen, who suffers from back pain and arthritis and was in the store looking at CBD products for the first time. "For a whole year, I haven't had one day without pain."