Blog (Expert Opinion) – Foundation for an Informed Texas
November 14, 2019

HHSC Executive Council Meets to Discuss Vaping and Definition for Incurable Neurodegenerative Diseases

Today in Austin, the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Executive Council held a meeting to discuss the current vaping issues in Texas and the proposed definition for a condition recently added to the Texas Compassionate Use Program (TCUP), incurable neurodegenerative diseases. Our executive director attended the public meeting and below are items of note on these two agenda items. Vaping: HHSC Commissioner Dr John Hellerstedt gave an overview on the current status of the state’s response to vaping illness, know as EVAIL (for e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury). On August 14, 2019, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) was first notified. DSHS has worked in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and local […]
October 29, 2019

Breaking: USDA Issues Hemp Regulations

UPDATED: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued regulations governing the production of hemp as an agricultural commodity in the form of an interim final rule. The interim final rule covers the requirements for where hemp can be grown, THC testing standards, the disposal process for crops that don’t meet federal standards and licensing protocols. (Read the draft version of the interim final rule.) These federal hemp regulations are effective immediately, but subject to change based on public comment. The interim final rule on hemp have been formally published in the Federal Register on Thursday, followed by a 60-day public comment period that ends on 12/30/19. You can submit public comment here. Once the rules are finalized, Texas can submit their state-level regulations plans. Once […]
October 9, 2019

Breaking: DPS Suspends TCUP Application Process

The Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) website no longer has the application process for Texas Compassionate Use Program (T.CUP) licensees on their website. In response to an email requesting more information, a representative from DPS offered the following statement: “The department is suspending the application process for licenses in the Compassionate Use Program, effective immediately. We will review the program and the need for any additional licenses again in the coming months.“ Earlier this year, our state legislature passed HB 3703, a bill providing minimal expansion of the Texas Compassionate Use Program (T.CUP). On September 16th, DPS announced that the application process would open on October 1st and run through November 1st. Yet, a week into the application process DPS has suddenly (and without explanation) suspended the T.CUP application […]
October 3, 2019

Recap: DSHS Hemp Hearing on Human Consumables

Today, the Department of State Health Service (DSHS) held a hearing for public comment regarding implementation of HB 1325, specifically relating to consumable hemp products. DSHS heard from farmers, laboratories, business owners and advocates for consumer protections. Read the comments offered by our Executive Director. Watch the hearing and public comments! Consumer protections are extremely important. While we do not want regulations to be overly burdensome for businesses, as this will raise their costs and therefore the cost of the products to consumers, it is imperative that we create some basic regulations/standards to protect the health of customers and the integrity of the product.  They are currently in an informal process so that they can preemptively look at regulation and standards so they will be prepared […]
September 26, 2019

Consumable Hemp Regulatory Hearing Scheduled

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will host a public hearing on October 3 in Austin to accept comments about the regulation of consumable hemp products (including CBD), registration and licensing as well testing for retail products. It is important to see sensible consumer protections while being diligent during the regulatory process so DSHS doesn’t create unreasonable restrictions on hemp products. If you would like to submit thoughtful input, you can do so in person or via email: [email protected]  Learn more about DSHS role in the implementation of HB 1325. Please support our crucial work! We will follow up when there is more information on this matter.