The Leg: Bills and Potential Laws for Marijuana and Hemp in 2019
Is Marihuana Legal in Texas?
No marihuana and products derived from marihuana are not legal in Texas. Unless your possession or selling marihuana falls under the strict guidelines of the Compassionate Care Act.
Is Hemp Legal in Texas?
No hemp and hemp derived products are not legal in Texas. Despite federal law reclassifying and making it legal to cultivate Industrial Hemp (e.g. less than 0.03% THC), possessing or selling hemp derived products containing THC is still a felony in Texas.
Are Local Agencies Making CBD Oil Arrests?
It depends. In Tyler, TX the Tyler Police Department recently sent a letter to several Tyler businesses advertising CBD products for sale reminding them to do so is illegal. In Tarrant County, the district attorney is on record that while CBD Oils are illegal, they don’t plan on spending resources to prosecute. Other counties feel the same. Harris County for example doesn’t arrest persons caught with low levels of marijuana (less than two (2) ounces).
What About Proposed Bills in the Upcoming Legislative Session?
Marihuana and CBD Oils are cash cows. Cash cows become hot topics and Marihuana and CBD oils certainly qualify as hot topics heading into the 2019 Legislative Sessions. Here is a look at some bills.
Bills that add to the Compassionate Care Act:
- House Bill 1365: making it lawful to possess THC products for “debilitating medical conditions”
- House Bill 1405: making it lawful to possess THC products for those in hospice care
- Senate Bill 400: legalizing medical cannabis by any means other than smoking
Bills that decriminalize THC products:
- House Bill 186: would amend the weights used to measure marijuana to lessen the penalties.
- House Bill 551: would change the penalty structure for THC products
Senate Bill 116 aims to research and legalize industrial hemp (less than 0.03% THC), similar to its federal counterpart.
Texans for Responsible Marihuana Policy, a group that includes NORML, is prioritizing two objectives 1) to decriminalize small amounts of Marihuana and 2) to legalize medical marihuana.
Republicans and Democrats both seem to agree that Texas marihuana laws need to be restructured. Republican representatives responsible for the Compassionate Care Act are also adding bills to extend THC use to more than just epilepsy (e.g. multiple sclerosis).
What to Expect with Marihuana and CBD Oil Laws in Texas?
My guess is Texas will follow the nation’s progressive trend softening penalties on possessing small amounts of marihuana and broaden medical marijuana use to additional (but not all) illnesses. i’m not convinced Texas will make the jump to legalize CBD oil, deciding instead to devote resources toward researching and studying the benefits of CBD oil.
We’ll know soon enough.