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State Regulations

The Legal Status of Cannabis in Texas

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In the state of Texas, Cannabis is completely illegal for recreational use. The state has a restrictive medical cannabis program that allows that permits the use of cannabis oil that has less than 1% THC for medical use under the approval of a doctor. Hem-derived CBD with less than 0.3% THC is legal under the Agricultural Act of 2018.

Before 1973, Texas hands down had the harshest marijuana in the whole nation. Possession of any amount of cannabis was classified a felony punishable by two years up to life in prison.

This emanated from earlier incidents and biases. In 1915, El Paso, a state in Texas was the first in the whole of America to restrict cannabis individually due to a 1913 incident that resulted in a man killing an police officer in the neighboring city of  Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, when chasing a couple from El Paso.

This hostility lasted all the way to 1973 when House Bill 447 was signed significantly reducing cannabis offenses penalties. With the passing of this bill, possessing up to 2 oz of marijuana was lessened to a misdemeanor of class B punishable by a prison sentence of less than 180days and a $1000 fine. This bill passed the House 84-58 and Senate 24–7 and also contained a provision to have old cases resentenced under the new law. Though the resentencing was later ruled to be unconstitutional, 95 percent of these prisoners had already been granted clemency by Governor Dolph Briscoe by May 1974.

House Bill 2391 in 2007 allowed police to “cite and release” some misdemeanor marijuana crimes and in 2015 a bill tabled for legalization failed.

House Bill 1325 was passed in June 2019 legalizing the growing of industrial hemp (containing less than 0.3% THC) which inadvertently led to the dismissal of hundreds of cannabis cases due to a shortage of equipment for testing THC.

“Smoke a joint, lose your license” repealed (2021)

The signing of SCR 1 by Governor Abbot in May 202 opted out of the Solomon–Lautenberg amendment requirements. This punitive measure requiring judges to impose a six month drivers license suspension was waived in cases where the offense was a misdemeanor and the offender did not have a drug conviction in the past 36 months.

HB 1535 was signed into law in June 2021 raising the THC limit to 1% from 0.5% and expanding coverage to include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and all forms of cancer effective September 1. Initially, a version of the bill allowing a 5% THC limit passed in the House but was lowered in the Senate to 1%. That said, cannabis in Texas remains illegal.

Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.