Texas Cannabis Law

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A Guide to Texas Cannabis Laws

It is still illegal to use or possess marijuana under Texas law — and has been since 1931. What changed in 2019 is that hemp is considered different from marijuana.

While hemp is legal to buy, sell and possess, the Texas Department of State Health Services bans the processing and manufacturing of smokable hemp within the state. That ban was upheld by a Texas Supreme Court ruling in June 2022, according to the Dallas Observer.

Medical cannabis is legal in Texas in very limited circumstances. Through the Texas Compassionate Use Program, Texans with a variety of conditions — such as epilepsy, autism, cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder — can access cannabis oil with less than 1% THC by weight. Medical cannabis can treat the symptoms of some of these diseases or reduce the side effects of other treatments, such as alleviating the nausea and loss of appetite associated with chemotherapy or reducing nightmares in patients with PTSD.

Qualifying Conditions

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Epilepsy
  • Seizure disorders
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spasticity
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Autism
  • Other incurable neurodegenerative diseases

Who can issue a medical marijuana card in Texas?

  • Only doctors who have registered with the state of Texas to prescribe cannabis can legally prescribe it to patients. This mandate is part of the state’s Compassionate Use Act.
  • After confirming a patient’s eligibility for a medical marijuana card in Texas, the prescribing physician can register the patient for CURT. CURT is short for Compassionate Use Registry of Texas. Patients must be registered with the CURT system before they can obtain prescriptions for their legal medical cannabis.

Steps to qualify for medical cannabis

Qualifying for medical cannabis in Texas involves some relatively basic steps:

  • The patient must be a Texas resident.
    • The patient must have a qualifying condition for a medical marijuana card in Texas, with proof of diagnosis.
  • The patient must have a prescription from a physician who is state-approved and registered to prescribe medical marijuana.
  • If a patient’s current physician is not registered, they may provide a reference for a provider who is. Alternatively, Texans can quickly and easily confirm their eligibility and schedule an appointment online with a board-certified, CURT-registered physician with Texas 420 Doctors. Once the patient is registered with CURT and has their prescription, they can purchase their preferred medical marijuana products online or by phone from any Texas dispensary and have them conveniently delivered to their home.

Is Marijuana Legal in Texas?

  • Texas has some of the strictest marijuana laws in the entire United States. Recreational adult-use marijuana is illegal, and medical marijuana is legal but heavily regulated. Only patients with qualifying conditions such as cancer, autism, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, and multiple sclerosis can access medical marijuana.
  • Penalties for marijuana use, possession, and sale fall under penalty group 2 of the Texas Controlled Substances Act, which can range from 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine to life imprisonment and a $50,000 fine. Growing weed is also illegal, and punishments are similar to possessing, using, and selling marijuana.
  • Hemp-derived Delta-8 THC is currently legal in Texas. The use, possession, sale, distribution, and production of delta-8 products are allowed under Texas state law. Similarly, hemp-derived CBD is perfectly legal and widely available across Texas

Texas weed laws:

  • The use, possession, sale, distribution, production, growing, and cultivation of recreational marijuana is illegal in Texas
  • Medical marijuana is legal but heavily regulated in Texas. Eligible patients with qualifying conditions have access to marijuana-derived oil carrying 1% THC
  • Penalties for marijuana possession are harsh, ranging from a class C misdemeanor to a class A felony
  • Some counties (El Paso, Dallas, Plano) have reduced penalties for weed, essentially decriminalizing simple use and possession

Is weed legal in Texas?

  • No, the use, possession, sale, distribution, production, and cultivation of marijuana have been illegal in Texas since 1931. Medical marijuana is somewhat legal but controlled under stringent conditions. Only patients with certain qualifying conditions are eligible for medical marijuana. As of 2021, just over 7,000 patients are listed in the medical marijuana registry, but only 348 physicians can prescribe medical marijuana.

Is recreational (adult-use) marijuana legal in Texas?

  • No, recreational marijuana is illegal in Texas under Schedule I of Texas Controlled Substances Act (TCSA), which coincides with the federal government’s Controlled Substances Act (CSA). This legal status means the use, possession, sale, distribution, and production of adult-use marijuana is prohibited and punishable under Texan state law.
  • Schedule I substances are defined as having a high potential for abuse with no accepted medical value or safety profile. Other substances classified as Schedule I controlled substances include heroin, LSD, MDMA (ecstasy), and psilocybin.

Is medical marijuana currently legal in Texas?

  • Yes, medical marijuana is currently legal in Texas but controlled under stringent regulations.
  • Medical marijuana was first legalized in 2015 under the state’s own Texas Compassionate Use Act (Senate Bill 339), which allowed patients with intractable epilepsy access to cannabis oil carrying less than 0.5% THC.
  • Qualifying conditions were later expanded with the passing of TX House Bill 3703 in 2019, which allowed patients with terminal cancer, autism, seizure disorders, and incurable neurological disorders access to medical marijuana.
  • In September 2021, Texas lawmakers passed TX House Bill 1535, raising the THC limit from 0.5% to 1%. Another draft proposed raising it to 5% but was removed by the Senate in favor of 1%. The bill also expanded the qualifying conditions to include all types of cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Penalties for marijuana possession in Texas

  • Texas marijuana possession laws are some of the strictest in the country and are punishable under penalty group 2 of the Texas Controlled Substances Act.
  • The possession or sale of two ounces or less of marijuana is a class B misdemeanor, which can land you in jail for up to 180 days, alongside a potential fine not exceeding $2,000.
  • Possession of two to four ounces of marijuana is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison, along with a fine not exceeding $4,000.
  • Possessing larger quantities of marijuana, especially with the intent to supply, is a state felony. The mandatory minimum prison sentence for having over 2,000 lbs of marijuana is five years, and a maximum prison sentence is 99 years.

Is cannabis decriminalized in Texas?

  • No, cannabis isn’t decriminalized in Texas. State law criminalizes the use, possession, sale, distribution, and production of cannabis carrying above 0.3% THC, or above 1% THC if eligible for medical cannabis.
  • However, certain Texan cities, counties, and municipalities have reduced penalties for marijuana possession. The most recent are Dallas and Plano.

Is growing weed in Texas illegal?

  • Surprisingly, no state laws prohibit the growing or cultivation of weed in Texas, but that doesn’t mean it’s permitted or legal. Texas state law punishes weed growers and cultivators quite harshly. Depending on the quantity and intent, punishments can range from 180 days imprisonment to $50,000 fines.

Is CBD legal in Texas?

  • Yes, CBD is legal in Texas, provided it’s derived from hemp plants carrying up to 0.3% THC (by dry weight). As defined in Section 121.001 of the Texas Agriculture Code, all hemp plant parts, including derivatives, cannabinoids, isomers, salts, and acids, are legal under Texan state law. This means the use, possession, sale, distribution, and production of hemp-derived CBD is permitted within the state.

Is delta-8 THC legal in Texas?

  • Yes, delta-8 THC is currently legal in Texas, as long as it’s sourced from hemp plants carrying no more than 0.3% THC (by dry weight). This means the use, possession, sale, distribution, and production of delta-8 and delta-8 products are allowed under state law. Here’s a recent coverage of the delta-8 legal battle in Texas.

Texas Laws and Penalties

Texas Laws and Penalties   
OffensePenaltyIncarcerationMax. Fine
Possession   
2 oz or lessMisdemeanor180 days$2,000
2 – 4 ozMisdemeanor1 year$4,000
4 oz to 5 lbsFelony180 days* – 2 years$10,000
5 – 50 lbsFelony2* – 10 years$10,000
50 – 2000 lbsFelony2* – 20 years$10,000
More than 2000 lbsFelony5* – 99 years$50,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence   
Sale   
7 g or less for no remunerationMisdemeanor180 days$2,000
7 g or lessMisdemeanor1 year$4,000
7 g to 5 lbsFelony180 days* – 2 years$10,000
5 – 50 lbsFelony2* – 20 years$10,000
50 – 2000 lbsFelony5* – 99 years$10,000
More than 2000 lbsFelony10* – 99 years$100,000
To a minorFelony2* – 20 years$10,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence   
Hash & Concentrates   
Possession of less than 1 gFelony180 days – 2 years$10,000
Possession of 1 – 4 gFelony2 – 10 years$10,000
Possession of 4 – 400 gFelony2 – 20 years$10,000
Possession of more than 400 gFelony10 years – life$50,000
Manufacture or delivery of less than 1 gFelony180 days – 2 years$10,000
Manufacture or delivery of 1-4 gFelony2 – 20 years$10,000
Manufacture or delivery of 4 – 400 gFelony5 – 99 years$10,000
Manufacture or delivery of more than 400 gFelony10 years – life$10,000
Paraphernalia   
Possession of paraphernaliaMisdemeanorN/A$500
Sale of paraphernalia (first offense)Misdemeanor1 year$4,000
Sale of paraphernalia (subsequent offense)Felony90 days* – 1 year$4,000
To a minorFelony180 days* – 2 years$10,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence   
Miscellaneous   
Falsifying a drug testMisdemeanor180 days$2,000
A person’s driver’s license is automatically suspended on final conviction of a drug offense.   

https://guides.sll.texas.gov/cannabis/recreational-use

https://www.dps.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/rsd/cup/laws/adminrules.pdf

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