The Lone Star State is not budging to “peer pressure” from other states as its marijuana law remains one of the harshest in the USA. Unlike some states such as Alaska, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Missouri where patients can grow their medical marijuana, growing cannabis in Texas remains illegal. The state laws on possession of marijuana are super stringent, and if you are a resident of the state, you don’t want to be on the wrong side of this law. If you need a complete understanding of the marijuana laws of Texas, we’ve got you fully covered with this piece.
Medical Marijuana Laws in Texas
Recreational marijuana is illegal in Texas. However, the Texas legislative house gave room for an exception to what qualifies as marijuana in its House Bill 1325. According to HB 1325, which was signed into law by Gov. Gregg Abbott in 2019, if the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration in a substance does not exceed 0.3% based on a dry weight basis, then it is considered hemp – possession of hemp is not illegal in the state. Consequently, the possession of any substance other than hemp that contains THC in any amount is unlawful. Such substances include vape pen cartridges, gummies, etc.
The medical marijuana law in Texas remains one of the most restrictive in the USA, allowing only low-THC for medical purposes. When it comes to medical cannabis in Texas, you need to know that the Texas Compassionate Use Act allows its possession or its use only in specific circumstances. According to the marijuana laws of the state, a qualified medical practitioner can prescribe cannabis with low THC, i.e., not exceeding 0.5% THC by weight, for a permanent resident of Texas living with any of the following conditions:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- A seizure disorder
- An incurable neurodegenerative disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Terminal cancer
Currently, most legal authorities in Texas do not have the necessary equipment to measure the actual amount of THC contained in a substance to determine if it is more than this limit. This tends to generally affect their attitude towards marijuana.
Even though the qualifying conditions for medical cannabis in Texas are very restrictive, the age limit is not. There is no age limit for prescription of medical cannabis in Texas, although patients under 18 need a legal guardian. In addition, only patients and their designated primary caregivers can purchase medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries, and the maximum amount you can get from these dispensaries varies based on the physician’s recommended dosage.
Even though marijuana is legal in other states, you need to remember that you cannot purchase marijuana from these other states and bring it into Texas. Doing so is drug trafficking, and strict penalties apply.
2021 Marijuana Laws Updates
A recent exciting development for the medical marijuana program in 2021 was when Gov. Greg Abbot signed Bill HB 1535. One significant provision of this bill is that it extends the medical cannabis program of the state to include two additional conditions: cancer and PTSD. In addition, it increases the current 0.5% THC limit on medical cannabis to 1%.
We keep our fingers crossed for this new law to go into effect on September 1, 2021.
2022 Marijuana Laws Updates
In 2022, Texas began the process to expand marijuana use for adults ages 21 and over. This new law is expected to create a booming billion-dollar industry, as well as provide economic opportunities and jobs for Texas residents. Besides the obvious benefits of this legislation, it also provides protections for medical marijuana patients and those with prior cannabis-related convictions.
2023 Marijuana Laws Updates
In 2023, Texas implemented new marijuana laws that are revolutionizing the way individuals can access cannabis for medical purposes. These laws also permit dispensaries and companies to sell cannabis products with varying levels of THC concentration, allowing users to select from a range of THC concentrations depending on their needs and preferences.
Furthermore, those who qualify may obtain medical marijuana cards after being examined by a doctor certified to prescribe the drug. The state has also taken steps to reduce penalties for smaller offenses such as possession of under four ounces, which will now result in a fine instead of jail time.
Finally, Texas has decriminalized hemp-derived CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC, making them easily available in retail stores across the state.
Growing Marijuana in Texas: Is it Legal?
In reality, no specific Texas law prohibits the cultivation or growing of marijuana. However, the marijuana laws in Texas regard cultivating or growing marijuana as the crime of possession of marijuana. The law defines cultivation as where an individual knowingly or intentionally possesses a sizable amount of marijuana to grow or cultivate. If you have more questions about cultivation or Texas MMJ, just click here.
What About Medical Marijuana?
Texas approved only three companies to operate medical cannabis businesses in the whole state. These companies serve as the cultivators, processors, and dispensaries for qualifying patients in Texas. The companies are Consortium Texas, located in Schulenburg; Compassionate Cultivation with a large warehouse in Manchaca and customized marijuana growing and processing equipment; and Surterra Texas, which operates in North Austin.
Texas At-Home Cannabis Cultivation Laws
Without mincing words, home cultivation of recreational or medical cannabis is not allowed in Texas. It doesn’t matter your age or status. You can only legally buy medical weed from licensed dispensaries which are only a few in the state. For a list of the best, check out our blog post.
Punishments for Growing Marijuana in Texas
Texas has strict laws for those caught growing marijuana in the state. Any individual or business caught cultivating, or growing marijuana in Texas will be charged for the criminal possession of marijuana plants. The applicable penalties vary from misdemeanors to felonies. For growing marijuana in Texas, the charges apply based on the total weight of all plants found:
- Possession of anything less than 2 ounces of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor and attracts a maximum penalty of 180 days jail time and a fine up to $2,000, or both.
- Possession of 2 to 4 ounces is a Class A misdemeanor. It attracts up to one year in a county jail and a fine of up to $4,000, or both.
- A state jail felony applies where you are caught with marijuana weighing between four ounces to five pounds. If convicted, this could attract a jail time ranging between 180 days to two years. This carries a fine of a maximum of $10,000, or both.
- Possession of plants weighing between five pounds to fifty pounds is a third-degree felony. A conviction may result in two to ten years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
- Cultivating marijuana between 50 pounds to 2,000 pounds is a second-degree felony, and a conviction could result in two to ten years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
- Cultivating more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana is a first-degree felony. Receiving a conviction could result in five years to ninety-nine years or life in prison, a fine of up to $50,000, or both.
Growing Weed in Texas: Just Don’t Do It
As you can already tell, Texas is pretty conservative, and the penalties for growing marijuana in the state are so strict. Our advice? Just don’t do it. The best thing you should do is to purchase from the licensed dispensaries in the state.
Getting your Texas medical marijuana card is perhaps the first step. Unfortunately, Elevate Holistics doesn’t currently offer medical marijuana services in Texas, but we’re working on changing that in the future. For now, you can get familiar with the processes and find the best MMJ doctor for you.
Right now, Elevate Holistics offers its services to 10 different states. If you’re in Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Louisiana, Utah, or Virginia, you’re in luck. Click here to view all available appointments and get your MMJ card recommendation.