Is Cannabis Legal in Texas?
Adult-use cannabis is currently illegal in Texas. A limited program makes low-THC, high-cannabidiol (CBD) cannabis available to patients.
The Texas Legislature on June 11, 2015, passed the Texas Compassionate Use Act, or SB 339, authorizing organizations to cultivate, process, and dispense low-THC cannabis to qualifying patients. Individuals with intractable epilepsy and registered caregivers acting on their behalf could now purchase cannabis for medical use. It also legalized the use of low-THC, high-CBD cannabis for sale and patient use to treat intractable epilepsy, although the first medical cannabis sale did not take place until Feb. 1, 2018. Low-THC cannabis is defined in Texas as containing not more than 0.5% by weight of THC. Only patients who are permanent residents of Texas can be registered to the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT).
The law specifically prohibits ingesting low-THC cannabis by smoking.
Furthermore, possession of flower cannabis or cannabis with more than 0.5% THC by weight has not yet been decriminalized, and can still result in serious criminal penalties.
On June 14, 2019, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed HB 3703, which expanded the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use and eliminated the need for a second physician’s opinion. However, the bill did not amend the language “prescribe” and “prescription,” which may be used only with FDA-approved substances.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) holds jurisdictional authority and has developed rules and regulations to establish, implement, and administer the statewide program so qualified patients and caregivers receive access to low-THC cannabis products.
Only patients in the registry, who have been diagnosed with a qualifying condition by a state-certified physician, can purchase medical cannabis from one of three current DPS-licensed medical dispensaries.
If patients are unable to make the purchase themselves, two of the three licensed dispensaries offer delivery services. Currently, only social workers and nurses are allowed to deliver cannabis products to patients and their caregivers.
There is currently no tax information in state legislation.
SB 339 does not specify any restrictions on where a patient can legally possess or consume medical cannabis.
Possession limits are set by attending physicians and are specified in individual patients’ prescriptions.
The law specifically prohibits smoking low-THC cannabis; therefore, possession of any amount of cannabis flower or cannabis products with THC content above 0.5% is prohibited.
How Old Do I Need
to Be to Consume?
to Be to Consume?
Home cultivation is illegal in Texas.
Medical Marijuana Registry
CURT is the system that allows physicians to register and prescribe low-THC cannabis to qualified patients. No registry identification card is needed, nor is there a fee to participate in the program. Once certified and added to the registry by their attending physician, patients can purchase low-THC cannabis products from any of the three state-licensed dispensaries.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Epilepsy or other seizure disorder
- Incurable neurodegenerative diseases
- Multiple sclerosis
- Terminal cancer
There is currently no age restriction for patients; however, patients younger than 18 will need a parent or legal guardian to obtain medical cannabis. Patients in the registry are authorized to purchase and consume medical cannabis if they meet eligibility requirements, which include:
- Established permanent Texas residency.
- Diagnosed with a qualifying condition that grants patients’ access to medicinal cannabis.
- Prescribed low-THC (less than 0.5% THC) cannabis by a qualified physician.
Patients who need assistance obtaining or using medicinal cannabis may have their prescription filled and administered by a caregiver or legal guardian. Currently, only social workers and nurses are allowed to deliver marijuana products from dispensaries on behalf of a patient or their legal guardian.
Only board-certified physicians who specialize in medical treatment for the specific qualifying condition for which they are treating a patient can prescribe medical cannabis. State-certified physicians are not required to prescribe the use of cannabis. Physicians must provide dosage recommendations, as well as dosage instructions for patients and caregivers, and the number of refills.
There are no regulations specifying reciprocity in Texas cannabis legislation.
There is currently no lab testing required by the state.
As of August 2019, the DPS has issued three dispensing organization licenses. The department is not currently accepting applications for dispensing organizations.
CBD and Hemp Rules
On June 10, 2019, Abbott signed HB 1325, which legalized hemp farming and CBD products in Texas. The law called for the Department of Agriculture to establish a system to regulate and monitor Texas hemp production, including establishing grower licensing application procedures, authorization fees, and lab testing rules to ensure plants do not exceed 0.3% THC content by weight.
The sale of hemp and CBD products is legal in Texas.
This page was last updated on Sept. 16, 2019.