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Today’s Pickup: Texas legalizes hemp, CBD

Good day,

Texas legalized hemp and its non-psychoactive derivative CBD. Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 1325 on June 11, which allows for the farming, transportation and sale of hemp products, effective immediately.

The move by the second-largest state in the U.S. is an important step following hemp’s federal legalization under the farm bill in 2018. It opens the door for a lucrative industry to move outside the grey market, while offering a new legal cash crop for Texas farmers.

On the transport side, HB1325 appears to address some of the pitfalls about hauling hemp. The Department of Public Safety is being tasked to develop a shipping certificate or cargo manifest related to hemp transport. They will be issued to license holders and contain unique identifying numbers for each shipment to facilitate roadside inspections.

Furthermore the law states: “It is the policy of this state not to interfere with the interstate commerce of hemp or transshipment of hemp through the state.” Forthcoming rules will be developed to insure that legal marijuana is not disguised in hemp shipments.

Did you know?

About 500 million tons of cargo gets shipped on the Mississippi River each year. However, recent flooding has stalled hundreds of barges. Many of them contain grain headed to the Gulf Coast for exports.


“After a lackluster May, June is shaping up to be a pivotal month for trucking.”

– Mark Montague, DAT Senior Industry Analyst, on the decline in spot volumes and pricing.

In Other News:

Panalpina launches blockchain pilots

Swiss freight forwarding and logistics firm Panalpina (OTC:PLWTY) announced that it has launched two blockchain pilots in ocean and air freight. Panalpina is a member of the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA.) (Yahoo Finance)

Trucking company fined $3 million for hazardous haul

A federal judge ordered Alabama-based Wiley Sanders Truck Lines to pay $3 million on June 11 for hauling plastic battery chips in California, which leaked out of trailers. Half of that money will support cleanup efforts from the contaminated area. (Los Angeles Daily News)

Alberta government in talks to move oil-to-rail contracts to private sector

Jason Kenney, the premier of Alberta, said the Canadian province’s government is in talks to shift public contracts to move oil by rail to companies in the energy sector. (CBC)

Former Ohio newspaper plant to get new life as logistics and manufacturing hub

Italian firm Modula is converting a former newspaper plant in Dayton, Ohio, into a manufacturing and logistics center that will employ 100. (Columbus Dispatch)

Escaped monkey invades Ohio truck stop

A Capuchin named Teeko rampaged through an Ohio truck stop after escaping from a zoo. He was safely captured and returned to the zoo. (CDL Life)

Final Thoughts:

Texas should be applauded for legalizing hemp and CBD, and attempting to create a regulatory framework for transportation. What happens in practice is another question. The prospect raised by HB1325 of marijuana being disguised in hemp shipments has an air of fear-mongering – particularly since the legislation itself uses the antiquated spelling marihuana. It seems unlikely that Texas will be able to build a thriving hemp industry if all shipments get viewed as potential contraband.

Hammer down everyone!

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Nate Tabak, Canada Correspondent

Nate Tabak is a journalist, editor and producer in Toronto. He covers Canada for FreightWaves, with a keen interest on the cross-border economic relationship with the United States. Nate spent seven years working as an investigative editor and reporter based in Kosovo. He covered everything from corruption to the country’s emerging wine industry. He also reported across the Balkans and investigated Albania’s multibillion-dollar marijuana industry with a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Nate grew up in Berkeley, Calif. He enjoys exploring Toronto with his wife and is always looking forward to his next meal.

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