If you’re interested in information about whether cannabis is legal in Texas, you’re not alone. A lot of people who live there, or who are considering a move to the state, have the same question. So, is cannabis legal in Texas? That depends on how it’s used, where it’s purchased, and what it’s for. Hemp has been legal in the U.S. since the 2018 farm bill, but cannabis, and its use for recreational purposes, is more complicated.
For people who have a prescription allowing them to get medical marijuana, legalizing marijuana in Texas is still a serious concern. They’re often not able to get what they need, even though they have proof and information from their doctors. If you have a medical condition that qualifies, you can technically get a prescription for cannabis in Texas, so you can purchase marijuana legally, through registered and licensed businesses.
However, Texas’ laws regarding medical marijuana are extremely restrictive when compared to the laws in other states that have legalized medical marijuana. According to Greenhouse Treatment Center, Texas passed the “Compassionate Use Act” in 2015. That law, which took effect in 2017, allowed marijuana with low-dose THC (0.5%) and higher-dose CBD to be prescribed to patients who had intractable epilepsy, were under a doctor’s care, and had already tried two FDA-approved treatments without success. That’s a very narrow group of people who could legally get cannabis in Texas.
A 2019 expansion broadened the state’s Compassionate Use Program to include patients with other seizure disorders, spasticity, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, autism, an incurable neurodegenerative disease, or terminal cancer.
Another expansion of that bill will go into effect on September 1, 2021. It will allow people with PTSD or any form of cancer to be eligible for the program (those with chronic pain didn’t make the cut) and slightly raises the allowed amount of THC, from 0.5% to 1%.
So the short answer is that medical marijuana is legal in Texas, but the long answer is much more complicated and keeps a lot of people with medical need from receiving medical cannabis in any way.
Recreational Cannabis Is Definitely Illegal in Texas
For anyone who wants to use cannabis in a recreational way, the law isn’t even close to being on their side. Recreational cannabis is still illegal in Texas, as of June 2021. While that might change in the future, with a lot of states legalizing recreational marijuana, Texas isn’t traditionally a state where marijuana has much acceptance, even for medical purposes. That could mean a lack of recreational marijuana options for some time.
Another House Bill Is Trying to Change the Rules
A bill that recently passed in the Texas House was designed to reduce criminal penalties for marijuana possession, especially for small amounts. The state would also be required to study the therapeutic effects of MDMA and psilocybin, through requirements built into the bill.
When the bill went to the Texas Senate, though, the wording and specifics were adjusted. That means the Senate didn’t agree to the bill the way it was, despite information on the benefits of hemp oil for healthier skin, inflammation reduction, and antibacterial protection. If there was increased acceptance for cannabis in Texas, more people would be able to take advantage of those benefits.
Since the Senate made changes, the bill is back in the hands of the House. Whether it will be approved the way it is, or whether you’ll have to wait to see what changes the House makes before sending it back to the Senate, remains to be seen.
Texas Cannabis Usage May Be Legal in the Future But It’s Not Likely for Some Time
The idea of having cannabis legal in Texas is an attractive one for anyone who wants to use it recreationally, but the chances of legality at that level are likely pretty far away.
The interest in cannabis also extends to those who don’t currently qualify for medical usage but could if the rules were changed or the definition of qualifying conditions was broadened even further. Keeping that in mind, it’s clear that lawmakers are carefully weighing whether it would be best to legalize cannabis more significantly in Texas, or whether it’s safer to avoid doing so, at least for the immediate future.
The Future of Cannabis Legality in Texas Is in Limbo
Right now, the future of legalizing marijuana in Texas is hanging in the balance and up to the decisions of lawmakers. For now, there’s been an expansion of who qualifies for medical marijuana, and that’s a step in the right direction for marijuana advocates.
FAQ 1: Is Cannabis Legal in Texas?
Yes and No. As of June 2021, cannabis is not legal for recreational use in Texas. However, low-THC medical marijuana is legal in the state, for certain very specific and controlled medical conditions and with a doctor’s authorization.
FAQ 2: What Do Current House and Senate Bills Mean for Legalizing Marijuana in Texas?
The current bill in the House and Senate means that recreational marijuana may be coming to Texas at some point in the future. The bill allows for further study of marijuana and related products, but that’s no guarantee that recreational weed will be legalized.