In Texas, the legal status of cannabis, often referred to as “marihuana” in the state’s statutes, is complex, with differing regulations for recreational and medical use. The Texas Controlled Substances Act classifies cannabis as a Schedule I substance under both state and federal law, outlining specific prohibitions and penalties.
Recreational Use of Cannabis in Texas
Under Texas State Law, the possession and sale of cannabis are prohibited. Section 481.121 of the Texas Health and Safety Code categorizes the possession of marijuana as a criminal offense, with the severity dependent on the amount possessed. Furthermore, Section 481.122 makes it a crime to knowingly deliver marijuana to anyone under the age of 18.
Medical Use of Cannabis in Texas
Despite the stringent laws on recreational cannabis, Texas permits the medical use of low-THC cannabis for certain conditions. The Texas Compassionate Use Program (CUP) allows patients with specified medical conditions to receive prescriptions for low-THC cannabis from registered physicians. Notably, there’s no age restriction for these prescriptions. The regulations governing the CUP are found in Chapter 169 of the Texas Occupations Code, which defines “low-THC cannabis” as part of the Cannabis sativa L. plant with specific concentration limitations.
The Texas Medical Marijuana guidelines specify that patients must be permanent residents of Texas and have an eligible medical condition. Additionally, the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT) helps in regulating the prescription and dispensation of low-THC cannabis, ensuring compliance with state laws.
State vs. Federal Law on Cannabis
The federal government’s stance on cannabis differs from Texas state law. In 2018, the Department of Justice rescinded an earlier memo that guided federal marijuana enforcement policy, signaling stricter enforcement of federal laws, which categorize marijuana as a Schedule I substance. This creates a complex legal landscape where state and federal laws diverge on the issue of cannabis.
Hemp and Low-THC Cannabis
Recent legislation, including H.R. 2 and House Bill 1325, has regulated the growth of hemp in Texas, defining it as cannabis with a THC concentration of less than 0.3% by dry weight. This development reflects the evolving legal status of cannabis and its derivatives in the state.
For more detailed information about the legal status of cannabis in Texas, including FAQs and research guides, visit the Texas State Law Library.