More Texans Can Access Cannabis Legally with Expansion Bill
Get Updated on the Existing Recreational Marijuana Laws in Texas
When we look back on the laws surrounding the legalization of cannabis in Texas, the Lone Star State has been slower to take action than many other states. In Texas and federal law, recreational use of cannabis is still illegal. Recreational cannabis (or marijuana) use is understood to be the use of marijuana for enjoyment rather than for medicinal uses. The laws on recreational marijuana use vary from state to state, but in Texas, the laws surrounding recreational possession are as follows:
- Possession of two ounces or less of marijuana is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $2000
- Possession of between two and four ounces of marijuana is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to 1 year and a fine not to exceed $4000
- Possession of between 4 ounces and 5 pounds of marijuana is a felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 180 days imprisonment, a maximum of 2 years imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $10,000
- Possession of between 5 and 50 pounds of marijuana is a felony, publishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of no less than 2 years imprisonment, a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $10,000
- Possession of between 50 pounds and 2000 lbs of marijuana is a Second Degree felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years imprisonment, a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $10,000
- Possession of more than 2000 pounds of marijuana is a felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years, a maximum sentence of 99 years, and a fine of no more than $50,000
What the Newly Expanded Medical Marijuana Program in Texas Means for You
As you can see, there are strict laws surrounding marijuana for recreational use in Texas, but the laws surrounding medical use are a bit more user-friendly. In Early June of 2021, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R.) signed into law legislation that slightly expanded the state’s restrictive medical marijuana program. It made the substance available to more patients and allowed for more THC in regulated medical cannabis products.
The legislation is called House Bill 1535, and it will take effect in September of 2021. The law permits the use of low-THC marijuana for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder as well as any form of cancer, instead of only terminal cancer. The law also raised the THC cap on regulated marijuana in Texas from .5% to 1%. The cap would have been raised to 5% in the House version of the Bill, but the level was lowered by the Texas Senate. Lastly, the bill makes way for a new research program to study the use of low-THC medical marijuana.
As of May 2021, the number of Texans listed in the medical marijuana program is relatively low, at 6,051, but it is likely that the expansion will make room for many more new patients. Because these patients would be using the substance medically and legally rather than recreationally, it also removes their risk of being faced with a criminal law situation. However, the vast majority of Texans are unable to use marijuana legally and would need a great criminal defense lawyer on their side if they were to face a possession charge. The Clark Law Firm brings over 35 years of total legal experience to the table, and we are constantly keeping up with the way the laws are changing and how these changes can benefit our clients.
To learn more about the new medical marijuana laws in Texas or to speak with a member of our skilled criminal defense team, call The Clark Law Firm at (817) 435-4970 or contact us online.