Cannabis is Becoming “More Legal” in Texas
The Lone Star remains as one of the few states deeply in prohibition. Although medical marijuana in Texas is technically legal, the qualifying conditions to receive a doctor’s prescription is limited. Support for legalization is not lacking here, however. From polls to government officials, citizens of the state are raising their voices louder and louder in favor of expanded medical access and recreational options for adults. Let’s explore how Texas cannabis regulations are shifting.
Medical Marijuana in Texas
As of mid-September 2022, medicinal cannabis is only available to patients with epilepsy, cancer, autism, multiple sclerosis, ALS, seizure disorders, incurable neurological disorders and PTSD. The addition of PTSD to the qualifying conditions list occurred on Sept. 1, 2021. The THC limit is capped at 1%, an increase from 0.5%. Multiple cities have enacted policies of cite-and-release, limited enforcement, intervention programs and decriminalization with their police departments. In early May, 85% of Austin residents voted to decriminalize cannabis in the Texas state capitol. This measure went into effect immediately. In the more left-leaning town of Killeen, marijuana decriminalization within city limits will be on the November ballot. If approved, the local police department would no longer be able to use cannabis odor as probable cause for search and seizure, with a personal possession capped of four ounces.
Cannabis Laws in Texas
This removal of cannabis as a direct path to incarceration is in line with a new poll, from The Dallas Morning News and University of Texas at Tyler, which notes the majority of Texas voters support legalizing marijuana for both medical and recreational use. The survey found that 72% of registered voters in Texas, including a majority of Republicans (67%), back medical cannabis legalization. Additionally, 55% of respondents said they support legalizing adult use marijuana. The poll involved interviews with 1,384 registered voters Aug. 1-7, and has a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points. Older polls have indicated increasingly supportive outlooks towards legalization.
Beyond popular opinion are the numbers of actual medical marijuana patients in Texas. These card-carrying cannabis users have quadrupled over the past year, from 6,051 in May 2021 to 26,687 in May 2022. However, due to the restrictive laws around qualification and potency, neighboring competition from New Mexico and Oklahoma is tight. Further, cannabis laws in Texas continue to ignore the precedence set by other states, and by not establishing business regulations, a truly competitive marketplace is not yet within reach.
Texas Medical Marijuana Card
A somewhat surprisingly vocal advocate of expanding Texas medical marijuana card access is the state’s Agriculture Commissioner, long-time Republican Sid Miller. His July 15, 2022 editorial posted on the Texas Department of Agriculture’s website, explains the difference between hemp and cannabis, connects the concepts of alcohol and marijuana prohibition, and calls for medical legalization, stating, “It is my goal next year to expand access to the compassionate use of cannabis products in Texas so that every Texan with a medical need has access to these medicines. When four out of five Texans support compassionate use, we need to have state law and state policy reflect that desire. I will urge our state legislature and our Governor to make that a top priority in the upcoming legislative session.”
Texas Cannabis Regulations
Until medical marijuana is less constrained and recreational cannabis is officially legal for adults in Texas, alternatives exist well within the law for consumer use. CBD derived from hemp plants carrying up to 0.3% THC is legal in Texas, per Section 121.001 of the Texas Agriculture Code, which clarifies that use, possession, sale, distribution, and production of hemp-derived CBD is permitted within the state.
Delta-8 THC is also currently legal in Texas as of the November 2021 ban removal, provided it is sourced from hemp plants carrying no more than 0.3% THC, just like CBD. Further, the Drug Enforcement Administration has quietly claimed hemp-derived Delta-8 THC is not a controlled substance under federal law. Once, in a June 2021 video webinar, and again in a Sept. 15, 2021 letter, which stated all cannabinoids extracted from hemp plants carrying no more than 0.3% Delta-9 by dry weight are not controlled substances.
Is Cannabis Legal in Texas?
Is cannabis legal in Texas? As of now, barely, but the future is optimistic. In the meantime, patronize Go Green Botanicals, a health and wellness advocate for the community and its customers. Go Green Botanicals provides natural remedies: the highest quality CBD, CBG, Delta 8, Delta 9, Delta 10, THC-O products and more at the best price. They are a resource for information and education on CBD products and their benefits. Shop now!