They say that everything is bigger in Texas. This is undoubtedly the case when it comes to cannabis and hemp law confusion.
We can tell you that cannabis and THC have been illegal since 1931. The state 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, so technically, the state no longer completely prohibits marijuana.
There is better news when it comes to 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.
What Are Texas’ Marijuana Laws?
Before we delve into the CBD complications, we’ll provide a brief overview of Texas’ stance on cannabis. It remains illegal for recreational use. 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.
At present, possession of a small amount of marijuana could result in a 180-day prison sentence. Certain counties and municipalities have decriminalized cannabis, however. Check your local laws for more information.
Texas Allows Limited Medical Use
In 2015, 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. Also, doctors that recommend the oil are technically breaking federal law.
House Bill 1535 came into effect in September 2021 and expanded the compassionate use program.
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 now 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.
Texas’ Hemp Legislation is Causing Problems for Law Enforcement
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 into law. The bill legalized hemp farming and also the sale and purchase of CBD oil derived from hemp. All CBD products must contain a maximum of 0.3% THC.
At the time, Abbott said HB 1325 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 tell the difference between hemp and weed. Therefore, we have heard of many cases of wrongful arrests.
On the plus side, the state has also dropped or delayed hundreds of marijuana possession-related criminal offenses in Texas.
Is It Legal to Use CBD Products in Texas?
Thanks to HB 1325, the answer is yes if it contains a maximum of 0.3% THC and comes from hemp. The bill was an essential means of protecting CBD sellers and consumers in Texas.
In April 2018, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) considered the possible outlawing of CBD products from online and in-store shelves. Fortunately, the DSHS decided to put a hold on its efforts “to strip [CBD-infused products] from Texas retail stores.”
As it happens, attorneys in the state claim the Texas Department of Public Safety, not the DSHS, is responsible for “issues related to cannabis and cannabis-related products.” This fact angered countless CBD sellers in Texas. Their livelihoods were threatened by an agency that didn’t have the authority to act.
HB 1325 didn’t expressly say that CBD oil was allowed in Texas in a strictly legal sense. Instead, it relates to hemp products that contain a minimal level of THC. Until the new law, Texas was one of the few states that charged people for the sale or possession of 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.
What About Industrial Hemp in Texas?
If you purchase CBD from physical stores in most states, it likely comes from locally sourced hemp. It is not yet the case in Texas, but the situation is about to change. HB 1325 legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp in the state. As part of the 2018 Farm Bill, each state must submit a pilot program to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for approval.
The Texas Department of Agriculture was finally satisfied with the State Hemp Plan and submitted it to the USDA in December 2019. The USDA approved it on January 27, 2020. On March 16, the TDA officially announced that hemp licensing was open. Agriculture producers interested in growing the crop were encouraged to apply for a producer license.
Approximately 5,000 acres of land were licensed for hemp. However, Texan farmers trying to cultivate hemp face challenges. Many found that their first batches of seedlings wilted under the sun. Losing a harvest can cost six figures.
Little over 40% of the permitted acres were planted in Texas’ last harvest season. It remains to be seen whether farmers can overcome the many challenges they face when growing hemp. They are also learning that the supply exceeds demand right now, a fact that has pushed the price of hemp down.
Can I Buy CBD Oil in Texas?
For the most part, the answer is ‘yes.’ HB 1325 clearly states that Texans can purchase CBD oil 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 in 2019. Whether Tarrant County will continue on its quest is unclear, though the current District Attorney is notoriously anti-cannabis.
Realistically though, no Texan county can prosecute someone for possessing hemp-derived CBD oil if it contains less than 0.3% THC.
Can CBD Oil be Shipped to Texas?
Yes. There is nothing in Texas law that prevents shipping CBD oil to the Lone Star State. Practically all of the best CBD companies in the United States offer to ship to customers in Texas. Again, these products must have a maximum of 0.3% THC and come from hemp.
USPS has released detailed guidance on legally mailing hemp and products derived from it.
As it happens, USPS has released detailed guidance on legally mailing hemp and products derived from it. For instance, the mailer must comply with all federal, state, and local laws. They must also establish records showing that they are compliant with these laws. This includes lab-test results, licenses, or compliance reports. Furthermore, the mailer must keep these records for at least two years after mailing.
Apart from USPS, it is also possible to use other companies such as FedEx or UPS.
What You Need to Know About Buying CBD Oil in Texas
A lot of people want to know, “how old do you have to be to buy CBD in Texas?” At present, we’re not aware of any age limits. Indeed, it is possible to participate in the restrictive MMJ program at any age, although applicants aged 17 or under may need permission from a legal guardian.
There are two very important considerations when buying CBD oil in Texas. First, that it comes from hemp, not marijuana. Second, that its THC level is below the limit. Remember, places like Tarrant County have a zero-tolerance attitude towards THC. If you’re caught with CBD oil that has 0.31% THC or more, you could face prosecution.
Therefore, you must never buy CBD from a brand that doesn’t provide up-to-date third-party lab reports. Otherwise, you could inadvertently break the law. There are plenty of low-grade products on the market. Buying them not only potentially jeopardizes your health but also your freedom!
Hemp CBD Oil in Texas
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp with a maximum of 0.3% THC. Texan farmers now grow it, so customers finally have the chance to buy locally sourced CBD oil.
Every state now allows the growth of hemp, and it is used for building materials, food, clothing, and paper. However, the CBD boom means most hemp grown in America goes towards the fast-rising cannabidiol industry.
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.
Marijuana CBD Oil 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 jail sentence.
Indeed, the possession of over four ounces is a felony. In Texas, if charged with a cannabis offense, the charge is based on a substance’s entire weight, including adulterants and diluents. Therefore, if you have 120ml of cannabis oil with 3% THC, for example, you could face up to 20 years in prison!
Can Doctors in Texas Prescribe CBD Oil?
In Texas, individuals looking to use cannabis oil with up to 1% THC must consult with a doctor. 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.
Thanks to HB 1325, there is no need to see a physician if you want CBD oil with 0.3% THC or less.
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. You can purchase it from one of hundreds of physical stores or online.
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 trying to get medical CBD oil in Texas.
Thanks to HB 1325, countless Texans can now purchase CBD products with less than 0.3% THC. There are hundreds of stores throughout the state, but you can also order the best CBD oil online.
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