Is Cannabis Legal in Texas? Understanding State and Federal Laws

The legal landscape surrounding cannabis in Texas is a complex mix of state and federal laws. Texas has its own Controlled Substances Act, under which cannabis (referred to as “marihuana” in the statutes) is considered a Schedule I substance. This classification means that possession and sale of cannabis are prohibited under these laws. For more detailed information on the criminal penalties associated with cannabis, the Recreational Use page offers insight into Texas’s stance on the matter.

However, there is an exception for medical use. The Texas Compassionate Use Program (CUP) permits qualified physicians to prescribe low-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabis for certain medical conditions. This low-THC cannabis, derived from the Cannabis Sativa L. plant, must contain no more than 0.5% by weight of THC. To learn more about the Texas Medical Marijuana program, visit

Despite these medical allowances, both Texas and federal law still consider the recreational use of marijuana illegal. This is reflected in the Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 481, which places THC in penalty group 2, making both the delivery and possession of marijuana criminal offenses. Moreover, the state’s law enforcement agencies frequently seize large quantities of marijuana, indicating a continued focus on controlling its illegal distribution and use, as detailed in the Texas Drug Threat Assessment.

Additionally, Texas has regulations concerning herbicides, including those used on cannabis crops. The Texas Department of Agriculture designates certain herbicides as regulated, requiring additional restrictions to prevent hazards from drift or uncontrolled application. For more information on regulated herbicides, visit Texas Agriculture.

In terms of patient rights, Texas Health and Safety Code 481.111 exempts patients or their legal guardians from criminal offenses relating to possession of low-THC cannabis prescribed by a licensed dispensing organization in Texas. This exemption is crucial for patients who rely on medical cannabis for treatment.

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Texas Cannabis Laws

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