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What Are the Marijuana Laws in Texas?

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

Did you know that four out of ten drug arrests are for marijuana? Did you know that Texas has the highest conviction rate among states for drug offenses? What’s perfectly legal in one state could get you serious jail time in Texas. While some states have made progress toward cannabis legalization, Texas is a very different story.

Exactly what are the marijuana laws in Texas? And what should you do if you’re facing charges?

It’s important to get answers and understand everything you need to know about cannabis legislation in the Lone Star State.

Marijuana Possession and Cultivation Laws in Texas

Marijuana possession laws are described in Section 481.121 of the Texas Health and Safety Code. According to this law, it’s illegal to possess or grow any amount of marijuana in Texas.

The harshness of your penalty will depend on how much marijuana you possess or grow. There are six different weight categories for cannabis possession or cultivation. They include:

  • Two ounces or less
  • Between two and four ounces
  • Between four ounces and five pounds
  • Between five and fifty pounds
  • Between fifty and two thousand pounds
  • Over two thousand pounds

Each weight category is considered a different charge. The more marijuana you have in your possession the more severe the punishment you face from the charge.

Let’s start with the smallest amount: two ounces or less. This charge is a Class B misdemeanor. If you need a refresher on the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony, check out this guide here.

This misdemeanor means you could face one hundred eighty days in jail and/or a $2,000 fine.

Possessing between two and four ounces is a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, you could face one year in jail, a $4,000 fine, or both.

When you reach the four ounces to five pounds range you’re in felony territory, with up to two years in jail and/or a $10,000 fine.

Between five and fifty pounds is a class three felony. It also carries a $10,000 fine and/or up-to ten years in jail.

If it’s between fifty and two thousand pounds, it’s a second-degree felony. That means up to twenty years in jail, a $10,000 fine, or both.

Finally, there are the over two thousand pound convictions. This first-degree felony is the harshest: up to ninety-nine years in prison and/or a $50,000 fine.

Marijuana Selling Laws in Texas

Texas marijuana laws for selling are outlined in Section 481.120 of the Texas Health and Safety Code.

It’s illegal to sell, or gift, any amount of marijuana in Texas. However, like possessing and cultivating, the specific charge will depend on the amount they catch you with. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Gifting one-fourth of an ounce or less – Class B misdemeanor with one hundred eighty days in jail and/or a $2,000 fine
  • Selling one-fourth of an ounce or less – Class A misdemeanor with one year in jail and/or a $4,000 fine
  • Selling between a quarter ounce and five pounds – state felony with two years in jail and/or a $10,000 fine
  • Selling between a five pounds and fifty pounds – a second-degree felony with two to twenty years in jail and/or a $10,000 fine
  • Selling between fifty and two thousand pounds – a first-degree felony with five to ninety-nine years in jail and/or a $10,000 fine
  • Over two thousand pounds – a first-degree felony with ten to ninety-nine years in jail and/or a $100,000 fine

Keep in mind that your sentence can also be enhanced if you’re caught selling drugs in a drug-free zone like a school.

Paraphernalia Marijuana Laws in Texas

According to Texas drug laws, it’s also illegal to create, sell or own marijuana paraphernalia. Paraphernalia is anything that’s used in the growing, harvesting, storing, or consumption of cannabis.

If you’re caught possessing marijuana paraphernalia, you’re facing a Class C misdemeanor. This carries no jail time and a potential fine of no more than $500. However, if you sell paraphernalia it’s more serious.

With selling the fine goes up to $4,000, and you could also face a year in jail.

Selling paraphernalia to a minor is the most serious offense of the three. This raises your fine to $10,000 and increases your potential jail sentence to two years.

What About Hemp?

Hemp is a cannabis plant that contains high amounts of cannabinoids like CBD. The difference between it and marijuana is that hemp has less than .03% of THC in it.

THC is the psychoactive compound in marijuana. When you hear of people getting high from marijuana THC is the culprit, not CBD. CBD does not get you high.

So, as long as hemp is within these legal limits of less than .03% of THC then it’s legal in Texas.

This also includes CBD products like tinctures, edibles, flowers, vapes, drinks, topicals, and capsules. Just make sure that you can verify their chemical composition with a lab report.

Why You Should Hire a Marijuana Defense Lawyer

Even minor marijuana convictions can carry harsh sentences and life changing consequences. It’s critical to hire an attorney with experience in these types of drug offenses.

If it’s your first offense, an experienced lawyer can work towards lowering any charges against you. In some cases, a skilled drug offense attorney may be able to get charges dropped altogether.

If there is significant evidence against you, or you were caught with a large amount of the drug, it’s especially risky to fight these charges alone or with a court-appointed attorney. Court appointed lawyers are often overworked and juggling dozens, if not hundreds, of cases at a time. It’s nearly impossible for them to dedicate the time needed to build an adequate defense for your case.

Hiring an experienced drug offense attorney is your best bet to help you avoid lengthy jail sentences and expensive fines. Just make sure that you find one that specializes in the specific type of case you’re involved in. Otherwise, your taking a gamble that could cost you dearly.

Need Help? Contact the Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of marijuana laws in Texas. As you can see, there are serious penalties for even minor cannabis-related offenses.

That’s why you need to make sure you get a defense lawyer with a lot of experience in these types of cases.

Luckily, Andrea M. Kolski has over 20 years of experience in representing individuals facing these types of criminal charges. Her track record of dismissals and significantly lowered charges and penalties is second to none. So, contact our office today to get the help that you deserve.

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