Nineteen U.S. states have permitted the recreational use of marijuana, but this level of legalization is still a far cry in Texas. With some of the most stringent anti-drug laws in the U.S., an arrest for a marijuana-related crime can be a very serious ordeal in the Lone Star State.
Whether you live in Texas or are visiting from a state with more relaxed marijuana laws, it’s important to ensure that you understand what’s legal here, what’s not, and what can happen if you’re convicted of a drug crime in Texas.
Is Any Marijuana Legal in Texas Right Now?
Yes. Medical marijuana, so far, is the only legal use of cannabis in Texas. Legalization of medical marijuana occurred in 2015, when the Texas Legislature enacted the Texas Compassionate Use Act, which established the Compassionate Use Program.
Medical marijuana is still very difficult to obtain. Doctors can only prescribe it to patients for certain qualifying conditions such as cancer, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis, and autism. Absent of a diagnosis and prescription for medical marijuana, you can be arrested for possessing cannabis if you self-medicate an illness or injury.
Medical Marijuana & THC
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a substance in marijuana that can give users a high. Previously, medical marijuana in Texas could have no more than 0.5% THC by weight. That limit was raised to 1% THC by weight in 2021, although lawmakers originally attempted to raise the limit to 5%.
Is CBD Legal in Texas?
Yes, cannabidiol (CBD) is legal in Texas as long as it’s derived from a hemp plant with no more than 0.3% THB by dry weight. In 2019, Texas lawmakers legalized the production of hemp and its derivatives, following federal legalization the previous year.
Possession, use, sale, production, and distribution of a hemp-derived CBD product is legal in Texas.
Is Delta-8 THC Legal in Texas?
Yes. Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive byproduct of CBD production, and it’s legal as long as it’s sourced from hemp plants carrying no more than 0.03% THC by dry weight.
Penalties for Marijuana Crimes in Texas
Possession of marijuana that’s not for a medical purpose is illegal in Texas. So is the cultivation, production, distribution, and sale of marijuana.
Typically, the weight of marijuana allegedly involved in an incident determines the severity of the drug charge. That means possession of a very small amount of marijuana could be a moderately serious misdemeanor or a serious felony that can be penalized with many years in prison.
Below is a brief overview of penalties for common marijuana crimes in Texas.
Possession or Cultivation of Marijuana
The possession or cultivation of marijuana can be penalized as follows:
- 2 ounces or less: Up to 180 days in jail and/or up to $2,000 in fines
- 2 to 4 ounces: Up to one year in jail and/or up to $4,000 in fines
- 4 ounces to 5 pounds: Up to two years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines
- 5 to 50 pounds: Two to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
- 50 to 2,000 pounds: Two to 20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
- More than 2,000 pounds: Five to 99 years in prison and up to $50,000 in fines
Sale of Marijuana
The sale of marijuana can be penalized as follows:
- 7 grams or less: Up to one years in jail and/or up to $4,000 in fines
- 7 grams to 5 pounds: Up to two years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines
- 5 to 50 pounds: Two to 20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
- 50 to 2,000 pounds: Five to 99 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
- More than 2,000 pounds: Ten to 99 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines
- Sale to a minor: Two to 20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
Contact an Attorney for Legal Assistance
If you were arrested for a crime involving marijuana, it’s important to get legal assistance as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can provide the legal support you need to protect your rights when you’ve been unfairly accused.Our capable criminal defense lawyers at Rodriguez & Gimbert, P.L.L.C. can help. Call (979) 559-3599 not to request a consultation.