Texas is famous for its expansive cattle ranches, award-winning BBQ, and country music. It is also notorious for its strict laws surrounding cannabis. So if you’ve considered moving to or visiting the Lone Star State, be sure you know the rules before lighting up a joint.
Is Weed Legal in Texas? Straight to the point.
- Recreational THC: No
- Medical THC: Yes
- CBD: Yes
- Delta-8: No
Medical Weed Laws
Texans voted to pass the Compassionate Use Program (CUP) in 2015. In its original law, patients with intractable epilepsy were allowed to use low-THC products as advised by a physician. In 2019 and again in 2021, Texas lawmakers passed an amendment to expand the program’s guidelines to even more applicable patients.
Qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana card in Texas include:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Incurable neurodegenerative disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Seizure disorder
- Medical conditions designated by the Health and Human Services Commission as authorizing treatment with low-THC cannabis as part of an approved research program.
Before the 2021 amendments, low-THC products were defined as containing less than 0.5% THC. However, effective September 1, 2021, cancer patients and those using marijuana to treat PTSD can access medicine containing up to 1% THC.
CUP allows for ingestion only, meaning no one can legally smoke weed in Texas. Instead, patients are limited to cannabinoid products that they can swallow, like edibles and tinctures. See below for more information about becoming a registered medical marijuana patient.
Recreational Weed Laws
Trends show that many states with medical marijuana programs usually move towards adult-use recreational legalization. However, recreational weed’s regulatory environment tends to be far more complex. Although many states maintain their medical programs to support patients, the same rules do not apply to the general public once recreational marijuana is legalized.
Possession limits may vary, as well as the consequences for using marijuana outside of the state-mandated guidelines. See below for more information about the current legal status and recreational legalization efforts.
Is Weed Decriminalized in Texas?
In an article for the Texas Tribune in January 2022, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said, “Small possession of marijuana is not the type of violation that we want to stockpile jails with.” Although Gov. Abbott has expressed his support for marijuana reform, it remains illegal in Texas. Lawmakers believe that decriminalization is in direct opposition to state laws.
There has been a rampant increase in advocates pushing for decriminalization that they hope will pave the road to legalization despite this pushback by Texas lawmakers. The first step forward for progressive cannabis laws in Texas would involve legalizing flower instead of only edible products.
Cannabinoid Variants FAQ
Although THC is synonymous with getting high, hemp and cannabis offer dozens more cannabinoids. Many are becoming increasingly popular in states that have not yet established a medical or recreational marijuana program.
Is CBD legal in Texas?
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp production in the United States. This legislation opened up vast possibilities for CBD-rich hemp to enter the mainstream market, allowing consumers to purchase CBD in retail establishments and online. CBD is often found in supplements, topicals, edibles, portable vape pens, home goods, and beauty and body care products.
The Farm Bill legally protects CBD production, but it is not without stipulation. All commercially available CBD products must be derived from hemp and contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. However, some states have elected to regulate CBD independently and may have further restrictions on its use and distribution.
While the majority of the nation welcomed the Farm Bill with open arms, Texas lawmakers were slow to accept the production and sale of CBD products. Yet, in June 2019, Gov. Abbott signed House Bill 1325 to legalize industrial hemp and allow for the cultivation, possession, and sale of all hemp-derived products without first obtaining a medical marijuana card. In addition, all hemp products must contain less than 0.3% THC.
Is Delta-8 legal in Texas?
Delta-8 is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in trace quantities in cannabis plants. To obtain enough to infuse a product, chemists must extract it in a lab. To do so, manufacturers first extract CBD and then isolate the Delta-8 through a specialized isomerization process.
Consumers rave about Delta-8 because it offers similar intoxicating properties to Delta-9—the cannabinoid found abundantly in marijuana. The legality of Delta-8 is in a state of flux in Texas. Currently, it is legal to buy and consume for adults over 18. However, the Texas House has pushed to criminalize this and other cannabinoid derivatives.
Is Delta-10 legal in Texas?
Much like Delta-8, this minor cannabinoid requires multiple rounds of extraction and synthesis in a lab to obtain measurable quantities. Delta-10 offers similar effects to Delta-8, though it is often described as providing a more energizing and uplifting high than Delta-8.
Like Delta-8, Delta-10 is in legal limbo as Texas lawmakers cannot criminalize it at this time. Delta-10 is available for sale to Texans over 18 so long as the final product contains less than 0.3% THC.
Is THC-O legal in Texas?
In recent years, alternative hemp-derived cannabinoids have dominated the market as a more accessible way to get high. However, they have existed in a legal gray area until February 2023.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has declared Delta-8-THC-O and Delta-9-THC-O illegal controlled substances. These compounds are not naturally occurring in either hemp or marijuana and are considered synthetic cannabinoids.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp and its byproducts so long as they contain no more than 0.3% Delta-9-THC by volume. The market for cannabinoids has grown in the states since then as several alternative cannabinoids emerged, including synthetic THC isomers.
For the time being, this latest update does not affect alternative cannabinoids like THC-JD, THC-P, THCP-O, THC-H, and THC-B because they do exist naturally in trace amounts. Advocates feel that only the end of the federal prohibition on marijuana will successfully regulate synthetic or naturally occurring cannabinoids.
Is HHC legal in Texas?
HHC production is a bit more complicated than the above-mentioned cannabinoids. First, CBD is extracted from hemp and turned into an isolated powder. This process removes all other cannabinoids, terpenes, fats, waxes, and plant material from hemp. What happens next remains proprietary, though some manufacturers simply claim it involves using a chemical reactor.
However it’s made, HHC is touted as offering similar benefits to Delta-9 THC, but less potent. When made with hemp-derived CBD, HHC products are legal for adults if the final product contains less than 0.3% THC.
Is HHC-O legal in Texas?
Produced similarly to HHC, this type of cannabinoid offers one and a half times the strength of HHC. Users claim it most closely resembles Delta-9, but with less psychotropic effects. As with all hemp-derived cannabinoid products, it is legal for adults over 18 so long as the final product contains less than 0.3% THC.
It is illegal to grow cannabis in a state that has not yet legalized it for medical or recreational use. Even then, some states still do now allow for home growing. Therefore, anyone attempting to grow cannabis at home should be well aware of the legal consequences where they live. From misdemeanor to a felony, illegally growing weed comes with fines and possible incarceration. See below for more information on legal penalties.
Texas is a vertically integrated state. This means that the licensed dispensing facilities must grow, manufacture, package, and distribute their own cannabis products.
Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card in Texas
Unfortunately, obtaining a medical marijuana card in Texas is incredibly difficult. To get a prescription, you must first make an appointment with a certified physician. At this initial meeting, the physician will determine if the risk of consuming low-THC cannabis ingestible is reasonable compared to the possible benefits.
Then, you must visit a second certified physician who must fully agree with the prescription and recommendation of the first physician. In addition to the qualifying conditions listed above, many patients must prove that they’ve tried other prescribed medications and therapies before being considered for medical marijuana. Should a patient be approved beyond this point, they receive a prescription that you can fill at one of three state-licensed dispensing facilities.
Where to Buy Weed in Texas
Recreational weed seems to be far off for Texans, but there are a few options for those with a medical marijuana card. It’s important to note that only edibles, tinctures, and other ingestibles are allowed for sale to patients.
Currently, Texas has authorized three dispensing organizations. For such a large state, this seems limited. Still, the Texas Department of Public Safety believes that three dispensaries is sufficient to supply the number of applicable patients in the state. Fluent, Compassionate Cultivation, and Goodblend offer patient services and a variety of cannabis-infused ingestible products.
For those unable to pick up their medicine or who simply wish to have their edibles delivered, Goodblend offers delivery services for an additional fee of $25. Compassion Cultivation offers delivery services, but their pricing is not specified on their website. Fluent delivers throughout the Panhandle and to the Villages.
Direct to Consumer
Direct to consumer sales is a way for buyers to purchase directly from the cannabis brands without visiting a middleman (dispensary). With such a limited program, direct-to-consumer sales are unlikely to become available for Texas medical marijuana patients for quite some time.
Despite legalization efforts, the marijuana black market remains active. The illegal purchase of weed from a black market dealer comes with serious risks. Not only is it difficult to determine the potency and purity of the product, but the legal implications can be disastrous. In some cases, a mere slap on the wrist, but in others, buying weed illegally results in jail time or a prison sentence. For those that live in a state with a medical or recreational marijuana program, it’s best to obtain cannabis through legal channels.
Punishment for Illegal Acts FAQ
What are the penalties for growing weed?
If caught growing weed in Texas, the penalties range depending on the severity of the infraction. On the low end, you may face 180 days in jail and up to $2,000 in fines. Severe offenses can lead to life in prison and fines upwards of $50,000.
What are the penalties for selling, gifting, transporting, or importing weed?
In Texas, the penalties for selling weed range from misdemeanor to felony and include fines and jail time. There are no specific laws against gifting marijuana, but since the only legal form factor is ingestible marijuana for patients, it’s safe to assume you cannot gift weed. Transporting and importing remain illegal, and the severity of the punishment is based on quantity.
What is the penalty for selling to a minor?
Selling weed to a minor in Texas is a felony punishable by two to twenty years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
What is possession with the intent to sell?
Possession with intent to distribute means that a person is in possession of more weed than one would personally consume. This is an indication that the person plans to sell this abundance of marijuana on the black market. It is a severe offense with legal consequences.
What are the penalties for possession for personal use?
Penalties for possession for personal use depending on quantity. Two ounces or less is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and up to $2,000 in fines. If the quantity exceeds four ounces, the crime reaches felony status, and mandatory minimum sentencing begins with 180 days.