What You Need To Know About Marijuana And Hemp Laws In Texas

Usable amount of marijuana in office

The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 created a legal distinction between marijuana and hemp and legalized hemp cultivation. Hemp contains less than 0.3% THC (the intoxicating compound of the cannabis plant), while marijuana contains more than 0.3% THC.

Since hemp-derived CBD contains less than 0.3% THC and is non-intoxicating, it is legal.

However, under the Federal Controlled Substances Act and Section 812 of the U.S. Code, Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance and is considered federally illegal. Schedule I substances are defined as those that have “high potential of abuse,” and “a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug.”

Law On Hemp-Derived CBD In Texas

Following the adoption of the Hemp Farming Bill of 2018, the Texas Department of State Health Services removed hemp-derived CBD from the Schedule I controlled substances list on April 5th, 2019.

Hemp is now considered an agricultural commodity across the States, but the USDA regulations under which they must be produced and sold are yet to be created.

Laws On Marijuana Possession In Texas

The possession of marijuana or its derivatives is still illegal in Texas. Marijuana is classified as a penalty group 2 substance, and an individual caught with marijuana containing high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the psychoactive ingredient in the plant, can face potential jail time and/or a fine.

Under Chapter 481 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, you can be charged with possession of marijuana if you knowingly possess a “usable amount” of marijuana.

The Texas case law defines “usable amount” as “an amount sufficient to be applied to the use commonly made thereof.” Therefore, the State needs to prove, beyond reasonable doubts, that you possessed a usable amount of the drug.

Depending on the amount of marijuana the individual is caught with, possession of marijuana is punishable as follows:

  1. 2 oz. or less — Class B misdemeanor
  2. 2 oz. – 4 oz. — Class A misdemeanor
  3. 4 oz. – 5 lbs. — State jail felony
  4. 5 lbs. – 50 lbs. — Felony of the third degree
  5. 50 lbs. – 2,000 lbs. — Felony of the second degree
  6. More than 2,000 lbs. — Life felony


  1. Class B misdemeanors are punishable with a jail sentence up to 180 days or a fine of up to $2,000, or both.
  2. Class A misdemeanors are punishable with a jail sentence up to 365 days or a fine of up to $4,000, or both.
  3. Felony of the third degree is 2–10 years in the Texas Department of Corrections and a fine up to $10,000
  4. Felony of the second degree is 2–20 years In the Texas Department of Corrections and a fine up to $10,000
  5. Life felony is 5–99 year in the Texas Department of Corrections

Additionally, people charged with marijuana cultivation in Texas will have to forfeit the plants which the law enforcement will seize under the Texas Health and Safety Code.

You can be charged with marijuana distribution or delivery if you intentionally deliver marijuana and receive payment for it. The penalties depend on the amount of marijuana delivered.

Man smoking marijuana in Texas

Medical Marijuana Laws In Texas

Even though several studies prove that marijuana provides relief to certain illness and ailments, medical marijuana is only restrictively legal in Texas. The law allows specialty doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to treat a specific list of diseases and neurological disorders including terminal cancer, multiple sclerosis, and autism as well as other kinds of disorders that cause seizures. The THC in the medical cannabis products is restricted to low levels only and they can’t be smoked since you can only get it as an oil or inhaler from Texas’ only dispensary.

Defend Drug Charges With A Relentless Criminal Attorney In Houston

Aggressive criminal defense attorney, J.L. Carpenter, believes that anyone charged with possession, possession with intent to distribute or other drug-related charges should get a fighting chance to prove their innocence.

Set up a consultation with J.L. Carpenter Law to discover ways we can mount an aggressive defense to put you in a favorable position in front of the jury.

J.L. Carpenter is also a top DWI attorney in Friendswood—however, she also offers attorney services for drug possession charges, domestic violence defense and more. Contact us today for more information.