They say that everything is bigger in Texas. This is undoubtedly the case for cannabis and hemp law confusion.
We can tell you that cannabis and THC have been illegal in the state since 1931. Texas is taking steps towards creating an MMJ program, but the process will take time to implement.
The Texas Compassionate Use Act allows very limited access to low-THC cannabis oil.
The Texas Compassionate Use Act allows very limited access to low-THC cannabis oil, so technically, the state no longer completely prohibits marijuana.
There is better news about CBD, but it is only a recent development. This article attempts to strip away legal complexities and provide you with an up-to-date assessment of CBD oil legality in Texas.
Is It Legal to Use CBD Products in Texas?
More or less. In June 2019, Governor Abbott signed House Bill 1325. It legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp with a maximum THC level of 0.3%. More pertinently, HB 1325 allowed the possession and sale of hemp-derived products without the approval of a physician. The bill was an essential means of protecting CBD sellers and consumers in Texas.
HB 1325 didn’t expressly say that CBD oil was allowed in Texas in a strictly legal sense. Instead, it relates to hemp products containing a minimal THC level. However, until the new law, Texas was one of the few states that charged people for selling or possessing CBD.
In 2019, 71-year-old Lena Bartula was arrested for possession of CBD at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The unfortunate artist spent a couple of nights in jail and faced a possible 20-year prison sentence. Thankfully, she was freed without charge.
Could I Face Legal Issues for Using CBD Oil in Texas?
For the most part, no. HB 1325 clearly states that Texans can purchase products derived from hemp with a maximum THC of 0.3%. One would hope this makes it easy to buy CBD across the state. Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily the case. Most Texan counties have no intention of prosecuting possession of CBD oil, though there are exceptions.
One of the most notable is Tarrant County, which says it IS prosecuting CBD oil cases if the substance contains a detectable level of THC. However, the backlog on testing means the county had to drop hundreds of marijuana possession cases. Whether Tarrant County will continue on its quest is unclear.
Realistically though, no Texan county can prosecute someone for possessing hemp-derived CBD oil if it contains less than 0.3% THC.
However, having an up-to-date certificate of analysis (COA) can save you from trouble with the police. In Texas, they can technically arrest you for possession of cannabis while your product is tested for THC content. Given the delays in testing, you could theoretically spend some time in a jail cell. In reality, this is incredibly unlikely. Even so, some Texans may want the security of a COA in case they are stopped and searched.
Where Can I Buy CBD Oil in Texas?
There are plenty of physical stores that sell CBD, and many reputable online CBD brands ship their products directly to the doors of Texan customers. Nothing in Texas law prevents shipping CBD oil to the Lone Star State as long as these products have a maximum of 0.3% THC and come from hemp. We outline 10 of the best CBD brands at the end of this guide.
Here are five stores with stellar reputations that sell CBD oil in Texas, for the record.
Name of Store
3001 Knox St Suite 104, Dallas, TX 75205, United States
CBD American Shaman of Houston Heights
1241 W 11th St, Houston, TX 77008, United States
1345 Industrial St ste b, New Braunfels, TX 78130, United States
Phoenix Vapor Shop
911 W Anderson Ln #112, Austin, TX 78759, United States
VaporFi Houston CBD & Vape
8350 Westheimer Rd E, Houston, TX 77063, United States
What Are Texas’ Marijuana Laws?
In 2015, a Tea Party-backed conservative, David Simpson, surprised many by introducing a bill (HB 2165) to legalize cannabis in Texas fully. He made a religious case for his bill by saying: “I don’t believe that when God made marijuana, he made a mistake the government needs to fix.” Alas, HB 2165 didn’t receive enough support to make it out of the House.
In the same year, Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 339, also called the Texas Compassionate Use Act. It is so limited that it is not classified as a real MMJ program. It only permits low THC cannabis for individuals with intractable epilepsy and a handful of other conditions. The program has expanded to include other conditions such as:
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Huntington’s disease
As per the Texas state legislature, “low-THC cannabis” is defined as:
“…any part of [the Cannabis sativa L. plant] or any compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, preparation, resin, or oil of that plant that contains:
- Not more than 0.5 percent by weight of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); and
- Not less than 10 percent by weight of cannabidiol (CBD).”
SB 339 effectively only allowed for CBD oil usage. The 2018 Farm Bill allows the cultivation of industrial hemp with a maximum of 0.3% THC. MMJ patients in Texas could only use products with 0.5% THC. The difference was hardly worth the extra effort.
A Minor Improvement
There has been a recent change to the MMJ law in Texas. House Bill 1535 came into effect in September 2021 and expanded the Compassionate Use Program. The maximum THC limit is now 1%, and individuals with any form of cancer or PTSD are eligible. While legislators in the House agreed to increase the THC limit to 5%, the Senate reduced it to 1%.
Therefore, it is still a case where people seeking MMJ in Texas are unlikely to proceed when they can get CBD oil relatively easily.
In Texas, you must consult a doctor to use cannabis oil with up to 1% THC. If the doctor provides approval, you need to see a second physician. They must agree with the first one before you are added to the Compassionate Use Registry in Texas.
Also, patients must have tried at least two other medications that didn’t provide relief before applying for low-THC cannabis.
Thanks to HB 1325, getting CBD in Texas is pretty easy these days. There is no need to see a physician if you want CBD oil with 0.3% THC or less.
Marijuana Penalties in Texas
Unless you become a registered patient under the Texas Compassionate Act, you cannot consume CBD from marijuana. The possession of any amount is a misdemeanor and could result in a 180-day jail sentence. Indeed, the possession of over four ounces is a felony.
Growing up to 7 grams is a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 180 days if cultivated for no remuneration. Otherwise, the crime could see you spend up to a year in prison. Growing more than this amount is a felony.
If charged with a cannabis offense, it is based on a substance’s entire weight, including adulterants and diluents.
If charged with a cannabis offense in Texas, it is based on a substance’s entire weight, including adulterants and diluents. Therefore, if you have a batch of marijuana brownies that weighs over five pounds, you could get charged with a first-degree felony and spend up to 10 years in prison. Also, if you share them with your friends, you could get an additional sentence for distributing an illegal drug!
Certain counties and municipalities have decriminalized cannabis, however. Check your local laws for more information.
Confusion Still Reigns
For years, residents of Texas were confused over whether CBD oil was legal in the state. The Farm Bill legalized hemp growing but not cannabinoids such as CBD.
In June 2019, Governor Abbott alleviated the confusion by signing HB 1325. At the time, Abbott said the bill didn’t mean cannabis would soon become legal. However, it may have unintentionally decriminalized the plant. Law enforcement has no reliable means of distinguishing between marijuana and hemp.
The bill ensures that testing is necessary to guarantee legal CBD oil. However, the requisite equipment is costly, and state labs have a huge backlog. Police officers don’t have the training to differentiate between hemp and weed. Therefore, there are many cases of wrongful arrests.
On the plus side, the state has also dropped or delayed hundreds of marijuana possession-related criminal offenses.
Final Thoughts on CBD Oil in Texas
Texas remains a state that has not acknowledged the possible therapeutic potential of cannabis. At present, the state only allows qualifying patients access to low-THC oil, capped at 1%. Also, only a handful of dispensaries can sell the low-THC/high-CBD oil as defined by the Texas Compassionate Use Act.
To qualify, you must:
- Be a resident of Texas.
- Have a qualifying condition.
- Have not responded to a minimum of two FDA-approved medications for these conditions.
- Receive approval from two separate doctors.
Fortunately, HB 1325 now permits residents to access hemp-derived CBD products with a maximum THC content of 0.3%. As a result, there is little point in getting medical CBD oil in Texas.
Thanks to this legislation, countless Texans can now purchase CBD products. There are hundreds of stores throughout the state, but you can also order the best CBD oil online.