February 11, 2019


AUSTIN - State Rep. Ryan Guillen (D-Rural South Texas) filed legislation to allow licensed growth of hemp to diversify the economy and create jobs in the growing market of commercial hemp.

"Hemp has so many uses in our lives, such as auto parts and clothes," said Guillen. "And new uses are being found so often, that it makes me wonder why Texas isn't participating in that growing market. It can become a significant economic benefit."             


Hemp, a type of cannabis plant, is not the same as the marijuana plant that both the federal and state laws ban. Hemp has extremely low to no THC levels, the substance that elicits the effects of marijuana, and thus has no psychoactive effect on the body. Hemp has a variety of uses in commercial and consumer products; it has been used for insulation in buildings, fiber for clothes, biodiesel, and automobile parts. There are more than 25,000 identified uses for hemp.


Guillen's legislation, HB 989, allows Texas to participate in the growing market for hemp and seeks to create jobs and introduce a new, profitable economic activity to the state. Moreover, it encourages innovation by allowing universities to conduct research into other uses of hemp. If passed, hemp will be allowed to be grown by license holders under regulations set by the Texas Department of Agriculture. Both the Texas Farm Bureau and clothing company Patagonia, which currently imports hemp from China, has expressed support for allowing hemp growth in Texas.

 "Hemp is growing in demand and Texas needs to let our farmers participate in the marketplace," added Guillen. "Allowing research into new uses will keep Texas ahead in the nation's economy and continue to provide more jobs to Texans."

As of last year, at least 41 states have passed legislation to create industrial hemp cultivation and production programs.


Serving ten rural South Texas counties in the Texas House of Representatives, Ryan Guillen is known for his hard work, fierce independence, and relentless efforts for South Texas families. Recently, Capitol Inside called him a “House Bill Machine,” and a “one-person assembly line for legislation.” Since elected, few other legislators have passed more bills than Guillen. Sign up for updates at,, and