Is Weed Legal in Texas 2024? Understanding the Current Status and Penalties if Caught

When it comes to the topic of marijuana legalization the opinions and laws vary greatly across different states in the United States. Texas also known for its conservative stance on drug policies, has historically maintained strict regulations regarding the use and possession of marijuana. However, as we approach the year 2023 it is very important to understand the current status of weed legalization in Texas and the potential penalties one may face if caught in possession of it. In this post let us find out Is Weed Legal in Texas 2023.

The Current Status of Weed Legalization in Texas

As of now, recreational use of marijuana remains illegal in Texas. The possession or sale or cultivation of cannabis are considered criminal offenses. However, it is crucial to note that the state has made some progress in recent years regarding the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

In 2015, the Texas Compassionate Use Act was passed, allowing the limited use of cannabis oil for patients suffering from intractable epilepsy. This law only permits the use of low-THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) cannabis oil and is strictly regulated. It does not open the door to broader medical marijuana use or the legalization of recreational marijuana.

While some states have chosen to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, Texas has not followed suit. The state continues to enforce strict penalties for those caught in possession of marijuana, regardless of the quantity.

Is Texas Allowing Medical Marijuana?

Texas has legalized medical marijuana. It is presently limited to low-THC programs, though. This implies that the maximum amount of THC that cannabis products can contain for patients is 0.5%.

Under Texas’s Compassionate Use Program, physicians may recommend low-dose THC to individuals who meet certain criteria. At the moment, the following circumstances permit prescriptions for cannabis:

  • Seizures problems
  • Several sclerosis
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Autism Spectrum
  • End-stage cancer
  • Terminal neurodegenerative illness
  • Cancer
  • Neuropathy
  • PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder

Additionally, there is a long list of neurological conditions for which Texas law permits low-THC prescriptions.

Prescriptions for low-THC cannabis are available to patients if:

  • They are a permanent resident of Texas
  • They have a qualifying condition
  • They get a prescription from a CUP physician

Curious about CBD, hemp, or medical marijuana in Texas?

Here’s a breakdown of the state’s evolving cannabis laws:

Since Texas lawmakers gave the green light to certain cannabis forms in 2019, but not others, confusion has reigned across the state. Law enforcement’s approach varies widely depending on your location.

A recent Texas law aimed to align with a 2018 federal statute legalizing hemp while maintaining marijuana as illegal, resulting in widespread puzzlement.

So, what’s the deal with hemp, marijuana, and CBD?

Hemp and marijuana often look and smell alike since they share the same cannabis roots. The key difference lies in their THC content—the psychoactive compound. Marijuana is defined as a cannabis plant or its derivatives with over 0.3% THC, while anything below that threshold is labeled as hemp.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-intoxicating cannabis compound. It’s legally sold across Texas as long as its THC concentration remains below 0.3%. Supporters tout its potential to ease conditions like anxiety and insomnia, but the FDA hasn’t endorsed these claims. The agency has only approved CBD in the form of Epidiolex to treat rare forms of epilepsy.

Using or possessing marijuana remains unlawful under Texas law, a stance unchanged since 1931. The recent amendment distinguishes hemp from marijuana.

Since this legislative shift, prosecutors and crime labs have struggled with pending marijuana cases, dropping hundreds and shying away from new ones due to resource constraints hindering precise THC detection—an essential element in proving illegality in court.

Despite Governor Greg Abbott’s assertion that the law didn’t decriminalize marijuana, prosecutions in Texas plummeted by over 50% in the six months following its enactment, according to data from the Texas Office of Court Administration.

Additionally, medical cannabis is permitted in Texas under tight conditions. The Texas Compassionate Use Act, enacted in 2015, allows epilepsy patients access to cannabis oil containing less than 0.5% THC. Last year, House Bill 3703 broadened the eligibility criteria to include conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and ALS.

Is Texas Allowing Delta-8?

In Texas, delta-8 THC, the more widely used and somewhat legal isomer of classic delta-9 THC, is semi-legal. In 2021, Texas put delta-8-THC on their list of controlled narcotics, even though it was allowed at the federal level due to the 2018 Farm Bill. To assist fight the legal status, Texas hemp companies filed a restraining order, and a judge filed an injunction to keep delta-8 legal.

Is Texas Allowing Delta-10?

While delta-10 THC extracted from legal hemp is permitted in Texas, delta-8 THC is only legal in a murky area as long as the injunction against its legal status is in place. As long as Delta-10 is manufactured from legal hemp and Texas hasn’t taken any explicit action to make it illegal, it’s acceptable.

Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Texas

In Texas, the penalties for marijuana possession are determined by the amount of cannabis an individual is found to have in their possession. The penalties can range from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the quantity involved.

  • For possession of two ounces or less, the offense is considered a Class B misdemeanor, which can result in a fine of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail. Possession of two to four ounces is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail.
  • If an individual is found to be in possession of four ounces to five pounds, it is considered a state jail felony. This offense carries a penalty of up to $10,000 in fines and a jail sentence ranging from 180 days to two years.
  • For possession of five to 50 pounds, the offense is classified as a third-degree felony, which can result in a fine of up to $10,000 and a prison sentence ranging from two to ten years. Possession of 50 to 2,000 pounds is a second-degree felony, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for two to 20 years.
  • Finally, possession of over 2,000 pounds is considered a first-degree felony, carrying a potential fine of up to $50,000 and a prison sentence ranging from five to 99 years, or life imprisonment.

Cheating on a drug test

It is a Class B misdemeanor to intentionally fake a drug test or to have items necessary to do so in possession. A fine of no more than $2,000 and a maximum sentence of 180 days in prison are among the possible outcomes.


As we enter the year 2023, the recreational use of marijuana remains illegal in Texas. While the state has taken a limited step towards allowing medical use for specific conditions, the possession, sale, and cultivation of marijuana for recreational purposes are strictly prohibited and come with severe penalties.

It is essential to stay informed about the current laws and regulations regarding marijuana in Texas to avoid any legal consequences. If you have any questions or concerns about the specific laws in your area, it is advisable to consult with a legal professional who can provide accurate and up-to-date information.

Remember, the information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Laws and regulations regarding marijuana can change, so it is crucial to stay informed and comply with the current laws in your jurisdiction.

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