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Texas’ new hemp laws have led to fewer marijuana prosecutions

| Jun 6, 2020 | Firm News |

Texas legalized hemp and hemp-derived products. It also changed its legal definition of marijuana in 2019. That has created conviction issues for our state and anyone who uses hemp or marijuana.

The levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) now determines if it is hemp or marijuana. At low levels, it is hemp. THC is the ingredient in marijuana that affects people. The state passed laws in 2019 that reclassified whether the drug is legal.

Now, if marijuana has 0.3 percent or lower levels of THC, it is not cannabis. When it has those levels, it is hemp and it is legal. That also goes for hemp-derived products like CBD oil. Cannabis that has 0.3 percent or higher, is still marijuana. It is still illegal to have small amounts of it for personal consumption.

Marijuana charges are being dropped statewide

The new legal definitions are impacting marijuana convictions. The issues are complicating related marijuana arrests for you and the police. Prosecutors across the state have dropped low-level marijuana charges.

The levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) now determines if it is hemp or marijuana. At low levels, it is hemp. THC is the ingredient in marijuana that affects people. The state passed laws in 2019 that reclassified whether the drug is legal.

A hesitation to charge until more tests are available

The new laws require tests to determine cannabis’ potency. That testing is not readily available. Many law enforcement agencies say they will not pursue charges until there is a test.

Officials from Harris, Tarrant and Travis counties have dismissed many cases. Other counties say they might continue to pursue felony marijuana cases. Those officials say this leaves them the option of refiling if testing is available.

Marijuana laws across Texas are not as cut-and-dried as they used to be. The boundaries are changing. Anyone accused of breaking marijuana laws should seek legal counsel.