In Texas, the legal framework surrounding cannabis is stringent, with the state adhering to both federal and local laws that classify marijuana as a Schedule I substance. As per the Texas State Law Library, possession and sale of cannabis are prohibited under the Texas Controlled Substances Act. For details regarding the extent of criminal penalties for recreational use, the Recreational Use page provides comprehensive information.
Despite the strict stance on recreational use, Texas does provide a medical program known as the Compassionate Use Program (CUP), which is detailed on the official Texas Medical Marijuana page. The program permits the prescription of low-THC cannabis by qualified physicians for specific medical conditions. Texas law specifies low-THC substances as those containing no more than 0.5% by weight of THC.
As of September 1, 2023, a slew of new bills will become law, as outlined by the New Laws Effective resource. The industrial hemp program, introduced by the 2019 Texas Legislature, allows for the cultivation of industrial hemp, with THC content not exceeding 0.3% on a dry weight basis, as detailed in the CBD & Industrial Hemp guide.
Federal policies towards marijuana, particularly medical marijuana, have experienced a divergence from state policies. The federal government, through the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2023, has imposed restrictions on the Department of Justice from interfering with state medical marijuana laws. More on the federal stance can be found in the report on the Federal Status of Marijuana.
Enforcement actions, such as DEA’s “Operation Bottleneck,” highlight the federal government’s ongoing efforts to prevent controlled substance diversion. For more insight into these enforcement actions, visit the DEA Press Release. Additionally, the Southern District of Texas case details a significant seizure of marijuana, further emphasizing law enforcement’s role in drug-related offenses.
Understanding the current landscape of cannabis laws in Texas requires navigating both state and federal legal structures. These laws affect everything from medical marijuana access to the legality of hemp-derived products and the penalties for recreational use.