Laws on growing weed in Texas
Texas is the second-largest state in the USA both in size and in terms of the general population. Sharing a border with Mexico, historically, the Lone Star State is also one of the most conservative areas of the country and – well – is not somewhere you want to get caught in possession of or growing the smallest amounts of marijuana without permission. Read our guide to find out all you need to know about the law surrounding growing weed in Texas.
Is marijuana legal in Texas?
Cannabis is illegal in Texas and has been since 1931. However, there is currently some confusion. In 2019, the Texan federal government decided that hemp could be legalised, although marijuana could not, even though they grow from the same plant. Basically, marijuana is the part that contains THC – still illegal – while hemp contains cannabinoids or CBD, which are popularly used for medicinal purposes. In 2019, hemp was legalised in Texas when the state legislature passed HB 1325. The law came into effect on June 10, 2019, making cannabis with less than 0.3% legal hemp as THC, while anything more important is considered marijuana.
Interesting information on the legality of Marijuana in Texas
So far so simple, but this is the USA! In fact, the resulting change has led to the dropping of hundreds of marijuana possession cases as the prosecutors claim they do not have the resources to detect the exact amount of THC found in the seized substances. As a result, Texan marijuana prosecutions have dropped by around 50%.
Just one month after hemp was legalised, heads of state sent a letter to prosecutors stating that “failure to enforce marijuana laws cannot be blamed on legislation that does not decriminalise marijuana in Texas”. tests or with the proven use of circumstantial evidence. “
Although heads of state are pushing for lawsuits, some Texans believe decriminalising marijuana is the answer. Austin City Council member Greg Casar announced that he had a proposal for the city of Austin to stop prosecuting low-intensity marijuana cases. Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza, Councilor Natasha Harper-Madison and Councilor Jimmy Flannigan also support the proposal. On January 23, the proposal will be presented to the Austin City Council meeting as agenda item 59.
What about penalties?
However, penalties for marijuana possession remain high, so you have to question whether this is a risk you are willing to take. In Texas, state law currently permits prosecutors to press criminal charges, most often misdemeanours for small quantities, against users of recreational cannabis. Fines increase in terms of possession – the more cannabis, the higher the penalty. People can be easily fined more than $1000 with added jail time depending on the amount. Possession of fewer than 56 grams can be punished with six months in prison and a $2,000 fine. Several influential politicians are currently calling for reform of the marijuana law.
Medical cannabis in Texas
Cannabis oil has been legal since June 1, 2015, when Governor Greg Abbott signed the Texas Compassionate Use Act, which permits the use of low THC CBD oil to treat epilepsy in Texas. Abbott caveats his support: “I remain convinced that Texas should not legalise marijuana, it should only open the door to conventional marijuana for medicinal use. This followed a House of 96-34 vote on SB339.
Is change in the air?
In October 2014, Harris County Attorney Devon Anderson announced the First Chance Intervention Program, under which people with two ounces of cannabis or less could be offered a 90-day community service diversion program or drug education, instead of criminal prosecution and imprisonment. As of January 2016, the program was expanded to be mandatory for all law enforcement in the county.
In 2017, newly elected District Attorney Kim Ogg stated that Harris County would no longer jail people for cannabis possession offences: “I never felt good to put marijuana users in cells. It’s just not fair, it doesn’t make sense, and our country is resounding against it.” Full decriminalisation for possession of fewer than four ounces of cannabis began March 1, 2017, at no cost, ticketing, or criminal record.
Anyway, they have been saying that for centuries in the notoriously conservative state. In any case, it is a small breakthrough that it is now allowed to work with CBD cannabis oil for one specific group of children. In the state of Texas alone, there are already 149,000 sick children. They suffer from what the Americans call IE, or intractable epilepsy. It is classed as a severe form of epilepsy that does not respond to traditional medication. About a third of all epilepsy patients have this form. These children can have hundreds of seizures per week.
Fortunately, at least for them, the governor has now deviated from his tough anti-cannabis stance.
Penalties in Texas remain among the most severe in the USA. In summer 2019, the Texas Department of Public Safety ordered its police officers not to arrest people but to issue citations whenever possible in misdemeanour marijuana possession cases, which still carry a penalty of up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine. Other cities, such as El Paso, are considering enacting the “cite-and-release” policies. In Austin, the city council voted against arresting and fining citizens found in possession on marijuana, and to cease spending funds on testing for THC levels. However, there was push back from the police chief who claimed he would continue to issue tickets and arrest people, despite the fact that no penalties would arise.
This is a confusing time for people considering growing cannabis in Texas. There may well be further relaxation of the rules in the future. A recent poll suggested a majority of voters were in favour of marijuana legalisation, especially for medicinal use.
Texas marijuana growing laws
There are no separate growing laws in Texas. If you are found growing cannabis, it is classed as possession, unlike many other states, where growing laws carry separate penalties.
If you are caught, you could face penalties ranging from 180 days in jail to $2,000 in fines to a worst-case scenario of life in prison and $50,000 in fines.
Can you buy marijuana seeds in Texas?
Yes, somewhat surprisingly considering the rest of the legislation surrounding cannabis, the good news is that you won’t be breaking any laws. Ungerminated marijuana seeds in Texas are legal to buy and possess. This is because ungerminated marijuana seeds simply do not contain sufficient levels of psychoactive THC to be thought of as drugs in their own right. As is the case with the majority of American citizens, Texans are therefore allowed to buy and own marijuana seeds for personal reasons, such as collection
What are the best strains for growing outdoors in Texas?
Texas is often thought of as a hot country, associated with cacti and other desert-loving plants. However, its climate varies widely, from arid in the west to humid in the east. So what are the best varieties to try if you fancy growing some illicit weed – sorry hemp to treat epilepsy – in Texas?
Our advice is to try strains that do well in warm climates. White Widow and Grandaddy Purple are sure to do well as they thrive in warm weather. Another good choice might be Blue Dream feminized seeds. With a well-deserved reputation for excellence and a moderate amount of THC, Blue Dream is popular in the Lone Star State for those interested in feminized cannabis seeds. Blue Dream’s blueberry aroma is highly distinctive, and its sticky, crystalline buds contribute to the energetic and euphoric feeling loved by so many Sativa fans.
Planning to grow marijuana and living in Texas? Here you read everything you need to know about Growing weed in Texas.
Cannabis and the Law
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About this Guide
In recent years, laws regarding cannabis have changed rapidly across the United States. The number of changes to the law have left people confused about what exactly is and is not legal in different jurisdictions. This guide will give you an explanation of the current status of state and federal laws about marijuana and cannabidiol (CBD).
Please note: this is an area of law that is evolving very quickly. The information contained in this guide is subject to change based on new laws and regulations.
Texas and Federal Law
In general, marijuana is classified as a controlled substance on both the federal and the state level. Please see the Cannabidiol (CBD) and Compassionate-Use Program pages of this guide for specific instances in which certain cannabis products have been legalized.
Note: state and federal law use the spelling “marihuana.”
Updates on Texas’s Industrial Hemp Program
In 2019’s 86th Legislative Session, the Texas Legislature passed HB 1325, which paved the way for a state industrial hemp program. This program will allow people to grow industrial hemp (defined as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds of the plant and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis”).
There are several state agencies that must adopt amended rules and regulations in order to administer the new industrial hemp program. We have provided links to agency updates on their progress below:
The Texas State Law Library publishes legal research guides to help both self-represented litigants/pro se litigants and attorneys/legal practitioners locate the legal information they need.