Cannabis cultivation for recreational purposes is not permitted in Dallas County. However, a bill (SB 140) to allow Dallas County and other Texans cultivate up to 12 cannabis plants for recreational use is pending with the state committee on state affairs. If signed into law, SB 140, would require the home cultivation of cannabis to occur in enclosed areas that are locked and not visible to the public except by the use of aircraft or optical aid. SB 140 defines cannabis cultivation to include the propagation, breeding, growing, harvesting, drying, curing, or separation of cannabis plant parts by manual or mechanical means.
Note that dispensary organizations are authorized to cultivate cannabis plants for medical marijuana purposes.
It is illegal to manufacture cannabis products in Dallas County for any purposes other than for medicinal marijuana purposes. Cannabis manufacturing for medicinal marijuana purposes may only be conducted by dispensary organizations with valid licenses. If signed into law, Section 491.051 (a)(4) of SB 140 will permit Dallas County adult residents to process cannabis on their premises provided that no more than 12 cannabis plants are processed on the premises at one time. SB 140 defines cannabis processing to include the separation, preparation, blending, compounding, extracting, and the infusion of cannabis plant parts to make cannabis concentrates or cannabis products.
SB 140 would require that cannabis manufacturing be only conducted at Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)-approved locations which must be away from public view.
The retail of recreational cannabis is currently illegal in Dallas County. However, licensed dispensary organizations are allowed to sell medical cannabis to patients registered in the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT). Dispensary organizations must verify medical cannabis patients’ registrations and prescriptions through the CURT before selling medicinal cannabis to them. Any medical cannabis dispensary found selling medical marijuana to unverified individuals will be severely punished pursuant to Texas law.
Adult-use cannabis delivery is prohibited in Dallas County. Licensed medical marijuana dispensaries, on the other hand, are authorized to distribute medical marijuana to qualified patients. Section 481.120 of the Texas Health and Safety Code imposes severe penalties on persons found illegally delivering cannabis. The penalty for this offense varies in accordance with the quantity of cannabis delivered by the offender at the time of the arrest.
Although Texas, unlike other states in the United States, does not provide actual medical marijuana cards to medical marijuana users, it is possible to get medical marijuana under the Texas Compassionate Use Act. In Texas, a person must suffer from one of the qualifying medical conditions in order to be eligible to use medical marijuana. The qualifying conditions are:
While being assessed by a qualified physician, the doctor will determine whether the patient would benefit from low-THC medical cannabis and if the medical benefit of using cannabis outweighs any potential risks. If the patient is determined to require medical marijuana, the individual will be registered in the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT). Texas established the CURT to allow verified physicians to register and prescribe medical cannabis to eligible patients suffering from one or more qualifying debilitating conditions.
Medical cannabis dispensaries have access to the CURT and typically use it to confirm the prescriptions and registrations of medical cannabis patients visiting to fill their prescriptions. As a result, medical cannabis patients are not required to provide special documentation from physicians when buying medical cannabis. The CURT is available to dispensing organizations and doctors 24 hours a day.
Note that to register in the CURT, you must be at least 18 years old and a permanent resident of Texas. Although the state, unlike other states in the United States, does not currently include caregivers in its Compassionate Use Program, individuals under the age of 18 may apply with the assistance of their parents or legal guardians. Registration in the CURT is free.
Medical marijuana patients may obtain any quantity of low-THC cannabis by enrolling with the CURT. Medical marijuana patients may not smoke cannabis products even if it contains less than 1% THC.
Dallas County does not receive any revenue from recreational cannabis since it is illegal in the county. Also, Dallas County does not impose any tax on medical cannabis sales. Therefore, the overall revenue generated by the county from cannabis sales is insignificant. If SB 140 is passed into law, however, cannabis establishments will be required to charge a 10% tax on cannabis and cannabis products.
According to a special report by Vicente Sederberg LLP, a top-ranked national cannabis law and policy firm, approximately 40,000 direct jobs are projected to be created if Texas legalizes adult-use cannabis. The report also estimated that Texas could generate over $1 billion in revenue every two years and about $10 million annually in marijuana business licensing and renewal fees.
Crime rates in Dallas County for marijuana-related offenses have been declining since the legalization of medical cannabis in 2015. In 2016, the year following the legalization of medical cannabis, Dallas County recorded 282 arrests for DUI offenses and 92 arrests for marijuana possession. In 2017, 241 arrests for DUI offenses and 158 arrests for marijuana possession were recorded in the county. In 2018, the county recorded 192 DUI arrests and 100 marijuana possession arrests. In 2020, Dallas County recorded declined rates for DUI and marijuana possession crimes as the county recorded 63 DUI arrests and 30 marijuana possession arrests.