Texas ag commission advisor arrested over alleged hemp licensing scheme
Todd M. Smith, a top political advisor to Texas agriculture commissioner Sid Miller, was arrested last week on allegations of taking cash in exchange for hemp licenses. Smith accepted $55,000 as part of the scheme, according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by The Texas Tribune. In recent years, hemp has been considered an up-and-coming cash crop in the state. Part of the cannabis family, hemp plants are rich in CBD, the chemical component used to treat various health ailments, including anxiety, pain, insomnia, and seizures. In 2019, industrial hemp farming was legalized in Texas, where the annual cost of a grower’s license starts at $100. Smith and unnamed accomplices were allegedly asking for $150,000 to guarantee a license. Miller—who is currently suing the federal government, claiming the recently-passed Biden COVID-19 relief plan discriminates against white farmers and ranchers—told the Tribune he “had no idea” about the alleged malfeasance.