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Is weed legal in Texas?

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2024 | Drug Crimes

Texas and marijuana – it’s a complicated relationship. Unlike many other states, Texas hasn’t embraced recreational marijuana use.

But that doesn’t mean the Lone Star State completely outlaws everything cannabis-related. Delving into the current legalities surrounding weed in Texas can help answer the burning question: is weed legal?

The not-so-simple answer: It depends

Recreational marijuana possession and use remain illegal in Texas. This means you can’t buy it, sell it or consume it recreationally without facing penalties. Possession of even small amounts (up to 2 ounces) can result in a Class B misdemeanor, with potential consequences including jail time and fines.

However, there are some nuances to consider. The Lone Star State has a limited medical marijuana program, allowing patients with specific qualifying conditions to access cannabis oil with a low THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive compound) content. This program is highly restricted, and obtaining a license involves a complex process.

Beyond marijuana: The hemp and CBD landscape

State law differentiates between marijuana and hemp. In 2019, the state legalized hemp, which is a cannabis plant variety with low THC levels. This opened the door for the sale and possession of CBD (cannabidiol) products derived from hemp. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound with potential health benefits, and these products are widely available in the Lone Star State. However, regulations around them can be murky.

The evolving legal landscape

The Lone State State’s marijuana laws are slowly changing. Several major cities, including Austin and Houston, have decriminalized possession of small amounts, meaning authorities may prioritize other offenses. Additionally, there have been legislative efforts to reduce penalties and expand access to medical marijuana. While these efforts haven’t yet come to fruition, they signal a potential shift in attitudes towards cannabis.

Important considerations: Legal doesn’t equal safe

While CBD products might be legal, it’s crucial to be cautious. The Texas Department of State Health Services maintains a list of approved CBD products, and it’s wise to stick to them. It’s also important to remember that even legal substances can interact with medications or have unforeseen side effects.

While the Lone Star State isn’t ready to embrace recreational marijuana use just yet, the legal landscape may be showing signs of change. As the state continues to navigate the complexities of marijuana legalization, staying informed is key for Texans seeking clarity on this evolving issue.