March 1, 2022
Texas has some of the strictest marijuana laws in the nation. Although public polls and politicians have mostly indicated a willingness to decriminalize weed, there is still much work to be done.
With that in mind, the purchase, use, sale, delivery, or manufacture of marijuana in Texas can result in fines, incarceration, probation, and more.
If you’ve been charged with a marijuana-related offense, it’s in your best interest to consult with a proven Houston marijuana crime attorney as soon as possible. Our criminal defense team at Napier Law Firm is aggressive, experienced, and ready to fight for your freedom.
Contact us today at 713-470-4097 for your free initial consultation for first-time marijuana offenses (or subsequent). Continue reading for an overview of weed laws in Houston, Texas.
Possession of Marijuana in Texas
According to the Texas Health And Safety Code, Sec. 481.121, possessing any “usable quantity” of marijuana containing more than 0.03% THC (unless it’s authorized medical marijuana) is a criminal offense.
That means that most marijuana products are illegal, including substances that have a similar chemical structure and pharmacological activity as:
- Delta-1 THC
- Delta-6 THC
- Delta-3 THC
- Delta-4 THC
There is still a lot of debate regarding Delta-8 THC. For now, it’s allowed in certain products. However, that’s subject to change pending a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Charges For Illegal Possession of Marijuana
Defendants can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the amount of marijuana in their possession, where they possessed the weed, and their intent (i.e., intent to use vs. intent to sell or deliver).
Generally, the punishment for possession of marijuana in Texas is as follows:
- Class B Misdemeanor – Two ounces or less
- Class A Misdemeanor – More than two ounces, but less than four
- State Jail Felony – More than four ounces, but less than five pounds
- Third Degree Felony – More than five pounds, but 50 pounds or less
- Second Degree Felony – 2,000 pounds or fewer, but more than 50 pounds
- First Degree Felony – More than 2,000 pounds
Penalties For Marijuana Possession in Texas
In Texas, individuals convicted of marijuana possession face up to 180 days in jail to 20 years imprisonment, fines, community service, probation, and more (depending on the quantity and intent).
However, a skilled lawyer for marijuana charges can often argue for decreased or dismissed sentencing. That’s especially true for individuals charged with first-time marijuana possession offenses.
It’s important to note that possessing Cannabis sativa (i.e., hemp) with concentrations less than 0.03% THC is legal in Texas. Further, most jurisdictions follow the “cite and release” guidance from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
This means that law enforcement is encouraged to give citations and release individuals (until their court date) caught with four ounces or less of marijuana. However, individual jurisdictions make their own policies regarding marijuana possession arrests.
Penalties for the distribution, sale, manufacture, and delivery of marijuana are typically much harsher.
Marijuana Laws in Houston, TX
Law enforcement officials in most of Harris County (including Houston, TX) generally don’t arrest people who have less than four ounces of weed in their possession. Instead, defendants are likely to be fined and required to attend the Harris County Misdemeanor Diversion Program. However, every case is different.
It’s important to note that this does not apply to law enforcement in Montgomery County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, etc. In these areas, first-time marijuana offenders are likely to face the full force of Texas marijuana laws (including potential jail time, fines, and more).
Possession of Hash, Concentrates, & Edibles in Texas
Weed possession offenses in Texas are classified by weight. That means that anything less than four ounces is typically a misdemeanor. However, it’s essential to note that possessing any other substance containing THC (i.e., hash, concentrates, gummies, vape pens, etc.) is a state felony that can result in long-term imprisonment, depending on the quantity.
CBD And Hemp Laws
Thanks to the Farm Bill, CBD and hemp products containing less than 0.03% of THC are legal in Texas. However, it’s important to note that individuals who transport legal CBD and hemp products (containing less than 0.03% THC) must hold a hemp certificate. Otherwise, it’s a criminal offense.
Texas Medical Marijuana Laws
Under the Texas Compassionate Use Program (CUP), eligible physicians can prescribe cannabis with low THC levels (0.05% – 1%) to qualified individuals for medical purposes. However, medical use is limited to swallowing, not smoking THC products.
You may be eligible for CUP if you are a permanent resident in Texas who suffers from one of the following conditions:
- Terminal Cancer
- Multiple sclerosis
- PTSD, specifically veterans
- Incurable neurodegenerative disease
Use of THC outside of the parameters of the Compassionate Use Program may result in criminal prosecution.
Contact a Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Legislatures are slowly moving towards more lenient weed laws in Houston and the rest of Texas. However, for now, the possession, sale, distribution, or growth of THC products containing more than 0.03% THC (unless medically authorized) is a criminal offense.
At The Napier Law Firm, we have experience working directly for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. That means that we are uniquely qualified (as former insiders) to know how marijuana cases are handled in Houston and the best steps to take to mount a solid defense on your behalf.
Whether you’ve been charged with first-time marijuana possession in Texas or multiple, we can help. Contact us today at 713-470-4097 for your free initial consultation with a drug possession lawyer in Houston.