The Texas Hemp Industries Association (TXHIA) is the official state chapter of the Hemp Industries Association, the nation's oldest and most respected association since 1994. The TXHIA was formed in 2014 by Henry Valles, Matt Ditlow, and Robby King, all of Austin, whose primary interest in hemp was for the building industry. In the summer of 2014 industrial hemp was placed on the Texas Republican Platform and was supported by the Hemphill family, Mark and Sheila with their son Coleman and daughter Christian as GOP delegates. On January 5, 2015, seven days before the 2015 legislative session started, Sheila contacted the national Hemp Industries Association (HIA) to see who would be working the Texas Legislature to allow Texas farmers to grow hemp like 29 states at the time. No one was working hemp legislation so Sheila and Coleman picked up the banner and have been dedicated advocates since. In 2016, their efforts took them to multiple events with booths at the Republican Convention and Democratic Convention where hemp was added to the Democratic platform, The TXHIA had booths and attended the Texas Wildlife Association, Texas Seed Growers Convention and many Universities (Texas A&M, Texas Tech, University of Houston, University of North Texas) and various hemp events.. In December of 2016, hemp was added to the Texas Farm Bureau policy book.
Below is a summary of the hemp bills proposed and passed in Texas.
2019 HB 1325 Bill
Sponsor - Senator Charles Perry Senate District 28
Author - Representative Tracy King District 80
2017 HB 3587 Bill
Author - Representative Bill Zedler District 96
2015 HB 1322 Bill
Author - Representative Joe Farias District 118
With the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill many lobbyist and companies worked diligently to get to the June 10, 2019 signing of HB1325 Texas Hemp Legislation by Governor Abbott, Texas farmers are now able to participant in the current and future markets this crop will bring to desperate rural communities and agriculture markets.
Mission & Goals:
The mission of the Texas Hemp Industries Association (TXHIA) is to represent the interests of the hemp industry in the great state of Texas. As a 501(c)(6) membership-based non-profit trade group, we seek to encourage the research and development of new products made from industrial hemp while offering our members a network of like-minded, trusted individuals within the current hemp industry.
In 2015, Coleman was voted Hemp Activist of the Year, at the national Hemp Industries Association Conference. Coleman is a 7th generation Texan with deep roots in Texas ranching and agriculture. Coleman spent his early childhood on his family ranch between Sonora and Ozona, and currently resides in Brady, Texas. His work in Austin and broad experience in technology, real estate development, alternative energy, and naturopathic medicine inspired his legislative work centered on rural renewal through the cultivation of industrial hemp.
"Industrial hemp would provide much needed diversity to farming profits, create local manufacturing jobs, restore rural communities, and enhance the quality of our consumer products with an environmentally clean and renewable commodity."
Inspired by his desire for environmental responsibility, the use of sustainable materials, and healthy living, Henry co-founded the Texas Hemp Industries Association in 2015 along with Matt Ditlow and Robby King. Henry has invested in developing his expertise on hempcrete construction that he hopes to bring the main stream construction. He raised over $35,000 to construct Austin's first hempcrete tiny home at the Community First village.
"As a real estate agent, everyday I see how hemp could improve our building practices with renewable materials that would improve the quality and health of our homes and buildings."
Jonathan is a Texas native who owns and operates a hemp logistics, distribution, and compliance company out of Austin, Texas. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in finance and a degree in energy management, Jonathan worked as a Financial Accounting Analyst in Fort Worth, Texas for two years. Although the experience was extremely valuable, Jonathan found his true passion in the hemp industry after leaving his position to pave his own way in this budding industry. Now, about a year and a half later, Texagon, has moved over 1000 pounds of hemp flower, thousands of pounds of biomass, and hundreds of liters of oil. As this next season approaches, Texagon, has expanded into product distribution, is on track to double the amount of material moved or sold, and is even opening up a store on July 28th in East Austin.
"I know that hemp can be the solution to many problems facing our nation."
West Texas Regional Interim Member
Al and his wife Kasha own and operate Punkin Center Gin, a family owned and operated cotton gin in Lamesa, Texas. Al was raised in south Texas and started working for Smith Gin COOP in Odem, Texas at the age of 14. He immediately fell in love with cotton and heard that West Texas was the place to be. After graduating from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, with an agricultural mechanization degree, he headed to Lubbock to work for the Texas Cotton Ginners Association. From there, he went to work for Odonnell COOP as their plant manager over their 3 gins, and in September of 1999 he purchased Punkin Center Gin.
In 2016, Sheila was awarded the Leadership Award, at the national Hemp Industries Association Conference. She lives in Brady with her husband Mark and has two children, Coleman and Christian Ann. Being married to a 6th generation rancher and living through the collapse of the wool and mohair industry in the rural communities of Sonora and Brady, she has been actively involved with various economic development efforts to revitalize rural economies since 2003.
As a college instructor in computer science, Sheila is a consummate educator. As a software developer, she wrote patient assessment software for the home healthcare industry where she was intimate with the data needed to assess for compliance and safety. As a founder in a medical tech company that acquired physician signatures on patient orders, she witnessed the disconnect in the medical field that primarily treated rather than cured illnesses As a certified nutrition consultant, she is passionate to bring hemp to Texas to help restore our fields, provide nutritious food for people and feed livestock and create renewable materials for the building and auto industry.
"Hemp, health and healing - they all go together"