Even after the new law banning the use of smokable hemp went into effect on August 2, hemp advocates are still challenging the ban. A state judge has now blocked health officials in Texas from enforcing the ban.
Lora Livingston, a Travis County Judge, granted the restraining order Wednesday to a group of hemp producers fighting the legislation. Lawyers representing the state argued that there was no need for the restraining order because smokable hemp wasn’t legal before and thus no businesses were affected by the rule.
Livingston, for the time being, disagrees and continues to enforce the restraining order, which means that the ban on manufacturing, processing, distributing, and selling smokable hemp can’t yet be enforced by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
This ongoing dispute is the first time that a state court has been used to make a ruling on hemp, instead of federal judges.