Texas Laws on THC and Marijuana: Understanding the State’s Stance on Cannabis
In recent years, marijuana and its derivatives have gained popularity as a therapeutic and recreational substance. In some states, it is now legal for both medical and recreational use. However, in Texas, the laws surrounding THC and marijuana are still quite strict.
Medical Marijuana in Texas – Medical marijuana is legal in Texas, but with strict regulations. In 2015, the Texas Compassionate Use Act was enacted, which allows patients with epilepsy to access low-THC cannabis oil if they have a prescription from a licensed physician. However, this law is extremely limited, and the state has yet to expand its medical marijuana program to include other medical conditions.
Recreational Marijuana in Texas – Recreational marijuana use remains illegal in Texas, and any form of possession, sale, or distribution of marijuana is considered a criminal offense. The penalties for these offenses vary depending on the amount of marijuana involved and the individual’s prior criminal history. Possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana is considered a Class B misdemeanor, which can result in a fine of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail. Possession of 2 to 4 ounces of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor, with a punishment of up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
Above four ounces, possessing marijuana becomes a felony. All felonies, from state jail up to first degree, have potential fines of up to $10,000 in addition to possible imprisonment. Possession of marijuana greater than 4 ounces but less than 5 pounds is a State Jail Felony, with a range of punishment of six months to two years in a state jail facility. Possession of 5 to 50 pounds of marijuana is a third-degree felony, with a potential sentence between two to ten years in prison. Possessing between 50 to 2,000 pounds of marijuana is a second-degree felony which can result in a sentence between two to twenty years in prison. And lastly, possessing more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana is a first degree felony, with a range of punishment between five years and life in prison.
Edibles, wax, hashish, shatter, vape pens and other forms of THC – Given the liberalization of marijuana laws across the country, recreational users of THC increasingly choose to consume it in forms other than “flower,” or burning marijuana. However, Texas law has not kept up with this trend. ANY substance containing THC that is not marijuana or hemp is considered a controlled substance under Penalty Group 2. This means that ANY amount of a substance that contains THC possessed in Texas is a felony. As an example, 5 grams of marijuana (in plant form) is considered a Class B misdemeanor as we discussed above. However, 5 grams of edibles containing more than 0.3% THC is considered a second-degree felony.
The other issue that can cause Texans to receive harsh punishment for possessing THC under our laws is that the law considers the total weight of the substance as THC, even if the actual amount of THC is small. As an example, say a person brings a chocolate brownie from another state that weights 2 ounces, but only contains 10 milligrams of actual THC. Under Texas law, that person is treated as if they possessed 2 ounces of pure THC, even if the vast majority of that weight is chocolate and other non-THC substances.
CBD Oil in Texas – CBD oil is a popular and widely available product that is derived from the hemp plant. It contains very low levels of THC and is not considered a controlled substance by the federal government. However, Texas law requires that all CBD products contain less than 0.3% THC. In addition, the Texas Department of State Health Services has established regulations for the labeling and testing of CBD products to ensure their safety and efficacy.
Enforcing THC and Marijuana Laws in Texas – The enforcement of THC and marijuana laws in Texas is left to local law enforcement agencies. Police officers are trained to detect and identify marijuana, and they have the power to make arrests for marijuana offenses. In addition, Texas has a drug testing program for those on probation or parole, and a positive test result for marijuana can result in the individual being returned to jail or prison.
If you or a loved one are arrested for Marijuana or THC, call our office today
In conclusion, Texas has strict laws regarding THC and marijuana, and the state has yet to fully embrace the medical and recreational use of these substances. While some form of medical marijuana is legal, the state has not expanded its medical marijuana program to include other medical conditions. Recreational use remains illegal and is punishable by fines and jail or even prison time. CBD oil is widely available in the state, but it must contain less than 0.3% THC and be labeled and tested according to state regulations. It is important for residents to understand and comply with these laws to avoid any legal consequences.
Scott Stillson has been defending citizens accused of possessing marijuana and THC in Wichita and surrounding counties for over ten years. Please call us today to set up your free phone consultation and protect your rights.
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