Cannabis cultivation in Ector County is legal but restricted by Chapter 487 of the Texas Health and Safety Code to medical cannabis with low-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. Low-THC cannabis is defined as having a THC content ratio by weight of 1% or less by the Texas Occupations Code Chapter 169. Counties and municipalities are prohibited by Chapter 487 Section 487.201 of the Texas Health and Safety Code from disallowing licensed low-THC medical cannabis cultivation.
The Compassionate Use Program (CUP), created by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) in 2015, handles all issues pertaining to medical cannabis. To cultivate low-THC medical cannabis commercially in Ector County, a company needs to acquire from the Texas DPS CUP a medical cannabis dispensing organization license.
The license authorizes the holder to cultivate, manufacture and sell retail low-THC medical cannabis. That is why any applicant must prove to have both technological and technical capabilities to engage in all these.
According to Chapter 12 of the Texas Administrative Code, a licensed cultivation facility must be in a properly designated district zone and at least 1,000 feet from a daycare center or school, whether private or public. It must have all its owners, management, and staff registered with the CURT.
Strict security measures must be put in place by the licensee to stop unauthorized access, diversion, and loss of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products. Every section of the site that is used in the cultivation, manufacturing, or storage of medical cannabis must be surrounded by a solid wall and a door that is always locked except when authorized personnel are walking through. The mechanical lock that will be fitted must comply with life safety requirements. An inventory system must be used to track all medical cannabis crops, plant materials, manufactured items, and byproducts. All waste products from medical cannabis must be responsibly disposed of.
Also, the licensed low-THC medical cannabis cultivation facility must comply with the relevant portions of the Texas Department of Agriculture Administrative Code Title 4 Part 1 and the Texas Agriculture Code.
In compliance with Chapter 487 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, only the manufacturing of low-THC medical cannabis products in Ector County is legal. Counties and municipalities are not allowed by the Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 487 Section 487.201 to prohibit licensees from manufacturing low-THC medical cannabis products.
The medical cannabis dispensing organization license acquired from the Texas DPS CUP is likewise the one needed for the commercial manufacturing of low-THC medical cannabis products in Ector County, with all the same requirements for licensees applicable.
Also, licensed low-THC medical cannabis product manufacturers must observe pertinent rules of the Texas Administrative Code Chapter 12.7, as follows:
Licensed low-THC medical cannabis manufacturing facilities must be in compliance with county codes for buildings, safety, and fire, among others.
Licensed low-THC medical cannabis manufacturing facilities must use drinking water in the extraction of medical cannabis.
Licensed low-THC medical cannabis manufacturing facilities must designate for the task of medical marijuana extraction only those with proper training and registration.
Licensed low-THC medical cannabis manufacturing facilities must attest that it uses a safe medical cannabis extraction method designed for commercial manufacturing following sound engineering principles.
Licensed low-THC medical cannabis manufacturing facilities must take random samples from every batch of manufactured medical cannabis products for testing on concentrations of THC and cannabidiol (CBD).
Licensed low-THC medical cannabis manufacturing facilities must ensure that all their medical cannabis and medical cannabis products are in child-safe containers.
The legal retail selling of cannabis in Ector County is limited by the Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 487 to low-THC medical cannabis and low-THC medical cannabis products. Only licensed retailers may sell these and only registered patients and legal guardians in the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT) may make a purchase. Section 487.201 of the Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 487 requires all counties and municipalities to allow licensed retailers to do so.
To sell medical cannabis by retail, companies must also get the same medical cannabis dispensing organization license from the Texas DPS CUP, with all its contingent requirements.
The definition of medical cannabis in Texas Occupations Code Chapter 169 specifically excludes cannabis in smokable forms. No type of smokable cannabis may be sold in licensed dispensaries. Except for this, all types of low-THC medical cannabis and medical cannabis products are allowed for sale, as long as the CBD content of an item is at least 10% and its THC content is 0.5% at most. This includes edibles, oils, lozenges, tinctures, topicals, and more.
The dispensaries of licensed medical cannabis dispensing organizations are strictly required to accomplish the following duties:
Before every medical cannabis purchase, licensed dispensary staff must verify the following:
The patient or legal guardian must be asked to show a valid government-issued photo ID to prove identity.
The CURT must be accessed online to prove the registration of the patient or legal guardian.
The prescription on the online CURT must match the purchasing patient or the patient of the legal guardian.
The CURT prescription and the patient’s written order must be the same.
The prescription must have not yet been filled by another dispensary for the current period.
After every medical cannabis sale, licensed dispensary staff must post on the online CURT the following information:
The sale time and date
The low-THC medical cannabis or medical cannabis product quantity sold
Low-THC medical cannabis and low-THC medical cannabis product delivery in Ector County are legal as stipulated by Chapter 487 of the Texas Health and Safety Code. However, only licensed medical cannabis dispensing organizations are authorized to deliver and only to patients and legal guardians who are CURT members. The Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 487 Section 487.201 states that counties and municipalities have to allow this.
Ease of access to licensed medical cannabis dispensing organization locations is not available to all holders of the CURT-registered patients and caregivers. Hence, they are authorized to make phone or online orders of their low-THC medical cannabis and low-THC medical cannabis product prescriptions for delivery. Upon receipt of the order, the licensed dispensary must validate the patient’s or caregiver’s registration and prescription online in the CURT. The licensed dispensary’s delivery staff is required to ask for the recipient’s valid photo ID issued by the government as proof of identity before giving the purchase.
Physical medical marijuana cards are not given out by the Texas DPS CUP. In its place, free online CURT registration must be done by patients and any necessary legal guardians. They must all be permanent Texas residents. Law enforcement agencies will have access to the data they will submit.
Upon approval, the patient or legal guardian may purchase from any licensed dispensary low-THC medical cannabis and low-THC medical cannabis products by presenting a valid government-issued photo ID card that shows their name, birthday, and last five digits of their Social Security number.
Applying patients must be diagnosed to have one of the following ailments by a CUP-registered physician:
Incurable neurodegenerative disease
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
A patient may only have one prescribing doctor. To allow the doctor to register the patient on the online CURT and provide the patient’s information and medical cannabis prescription, the patient must give a signed consent form. If the patient is under the age of 18, a legal guardian must be registered in the CURT by the physician. The legal guardian will purchase the prescribed medical cannabis for the minor.
For further information, please contact the following:
Texas Department of Public Safety
Compassionate Use Program - MSC 0240
PO Box 4087
Austin, TX 78773-0240
Landline: (512) 424-7293
The Texas Low-THC Cannabis Program's administrative regulations declare that the state does not impose sales taxes on medical marijuana. The state earns only from the license payments made by medical marijuana firms. For a medical cannabis business license application, all applicants must pay a $7,356 fee, followed by a $530 registration fee if the application is approved, and then a licensing fee of $488,520. The license must be renewed every two years with a $318,511 renewal fee.
Medical cannabis in Ector County was legalized in 2015. Data from the Ector County Sheriff's Office on the FBI’s Crime Explorer page shows that in 2014, there were 76 marijuana possession arrests and three marijuana manufacturing or sales arrests, totaling 79 arrests for marijuana offenses.
After legalization, in 2016, there were 144 marijuana possession arrests and one marijuana manufacturing or sales arrest, totaling 145 arrests for marijuana offenses.
In 2017, there were 120 marijuana possession arrests and one marijuana manufacturing or sales arrest, totaling 121 arrests for marijuana offenses.
In 2018, there were also 120 marijuana possession arrests and one marijuana manufacturing or sales arrest, totaling 121 arrests for marijuana offenses.
In the latest available data in 2021, this decreased to a total of 26 arrests for marijuana offenses, all of which were for marijuana possession.
There were 136 DUI arrests in 2014. After legalization, there were 257 arrests in 2016, 167 arrests in 2017, 139 arrests in 2018, and 47 DUI arrests in the latest data in 2021.