With the pandemic putting everything and everyone into a whirlwind of changes the leaders of the Texas House and Senate have been really proactive on making sure that they’re not having the gatherings and they’re doing what they can to move forward in this bizarre session. Although, they are trying their best to move forward the only thing that is really happening right now is the budget (the only thing constitutionally we have to do every session). With the budget being the main focus, there are still many things in the background waiting to be moved on. At this time there are something like 24 cannabis related bills waiting for movement. With all the bills being filed you can definitely see it’s bipartisan, and that something’s going to happen. Learn more as Harry and Chuck chat about the updates concerning cannabis in Texas.
Harry Brelsford 0:02
420MSP back with Chuck Mains the lobbyist in Austin, Texas. And Chuck I realized, you know, these podcasts, first of all, thank you for joining us once again each month with updates. Thank you. And I realized podcasts take on a life of their own. So this will, you know, undoubtedly be an evergreen podcast that someone will watch at a future date. But if we talk about today, let’s have a little fun First, if we talk about today, you’re based out of Austin. You’re currently on the road but back home in Austin, what is going on with this once in a century, lifetime, ever? snowstorm as we talk today.
Chuck Mains 0:45
It is unbelievable. We got about five and a half inches of snow started on Sunday. And now we are getting freezing rain on top of that. So the city has shut down. Um, we have been without electricity at my place since Sunday. It is just chaos. that in addition to the roads, but the houses the electricity just in neighborhoods all across Texas. It’s just It is unbelievable. What’s happening right now.
Harry Brelsford 1:28
All right, let’s talk Turkey. So give us updates concerning the the cannabis segment of the economy in Texas, with the legislature’s happening and what are some updates.
Chuck Mains 1:41
So So, Harry, we’re now 20% in to the legislative session. And they have met a total of a week. This is unprecedented. You know, this is the pandemic’s has has curtailed a lot of a lot of normal things that we do, but the leaders of the Texas House and Senate have been really proactive on you know, making sure that we’re not they’re not they’re not having the gatherings and they’re not, you know, they’re doing what they can so it’s just been a bizarre session. Um, you know, the only thing that that is really happening right now is the budget and that’s the only thing that’s constitutionally that we have to do every session. Okay, the the budget writers are actually meeting the committee’s on each house and the senate are meeting and redistricting is meeting to but those that’s really the only thing that is is in action right now at the Capitol building. And we have a it’s so far I think I’ve counted something like 24 cannabis related bills. And again, you know, this is just one of those things, we’re hearing that it’s going you know, there’s going to be there’s going to the let you say the doors are open for for expansion of some sort what it’s going to be Time will tell. But, you know, looking at the amount of Bill filings that we have right now, you can definitely see and it’s you know, it’s bipartisan, that that that something’s gonna happen. So
Harry Brelsford 3:33
yeah, yeah. And then educate me once again, I think your boy I’m gonna get this wrong from high school civics by camera you meet every two years, you meet for a limited amount of time,
Chuck Mains 3:46
right? 140 days every two years. So we started January 12. We will in I think it’s June seconds. But there’s there’s there’s a bunch of rules, meaning that bills can’t be referred until a certain day or or bills or periods can’t take place. Bills can’t be voted on. We’re starting to creep up into those zones. And so that’s going to be interesting how we go about once committee started meeting, they passed rules to do virtual testimony, which will help but it’s gonna it’s gonna start to get interesting now. Some of those deadlines are starting to take place.
Harry Brelsford 4:31
Yeah. And is there the possibility that they can extend that June cut off data? So I’ve seen that in other states where they do another 30 days?
Chuck Mains 4:42
They don’t they can’t extend it. What they what they will do is the governor will call a special session. Okay, look, that’s what we’re gonna have to do with redistricting because I don’t think we get the numbers until April. And by that time we’re getting into the deadlines to have a hearing is it bills on the floor. So we’re hearing most definitely we’re gonna have a special session on that and whatever else that the governor has, you know, say maybe some of his emergency items that he has up right now, which just got included yesterday is the examination of our electric grid.
Harry Brelsford 5:17
Yeah. Well, hey, do me a favor. Before we talk next time, if you don’t mind, just make a mental note. But I would like to know with your domain expertise in the hemp area, in particular in Texas. Let me know how the growth is going with all this winter weather. I’d be curious. You know, we’ll know more next time we meet.
Chuck Mains 5:38
I’ll get an update from some of my my growers around here too. So.
Harry Brelsford 5:43
All right. Thanks, Chuck. Thanks a lot. We’ll see you next time.