Fort Bend County Cannabis Overview

  1. Texas Cannabis
  2. Fort Bend County Cannabis

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in Fort Bend County?

Yes, but only in licensed dispensing organizations for low-THC medical marijuana use. Recreational use of marijuana is still illegal in Texas, including Fort Bend County. Furthermore, under Texas's Compassionate-Use Program, qualified physicians are only allowed to prescribe low-THC cannabis to patients with certain conditions. It is important to note that medical use of cannabis in the state is limited to swallowing, not smoking, the prescribed dosage of low-THC.

Low-THC cannabis is defined in Section 169.001 as the plant Cannabis sativa L., and any part or any compound of that plant that contains not more than 1% by weight of tetrahydrocannabinol.

With that said, the Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 12, Subchapter B emphasized that the licensed dispensing organizations may only cultivate low-THC cannabis, provided that they have experience in cultivation, analytical laboratory methods, and analytical organic chemistry and microbiology. The Texas Administrative Code also says that all cultivation of low-THC cannabis must take place in an enclosed and secured building, out of public sight.

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in Fort Bend County?

Yes. Pursuant to Texas Controlled Substances Act, manufacturers must be registered with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration in order to manufacture, analyze, possess, distribute, or dispense cannabis. Manufacturers shall keep records and maintain inventories in compliance with inventory and recordkeeping requirements of federal law and with additional rules the Texas Department Of Public Safety adopts. They shall also allow a peace officer or a member of the department to conduct audits and inspect records of sales and purchases and all other records made at any reasonable time. In addition, they shall not interfere with the audit or with the complete inspection or copying of those records.

For cannabis businesses to operate in Texas, the Texas Compassionate-Use Act listed the following eligibility under Section 487.102:

  • the technological and technical ability to cultivate and produce low-THC cannabis
  • the ability to secure the personnel and resources necessary to operate and the premises reasonably located to allow qualified patients listed on the compassionate-use registry access to the dispensing organization
  • the ability to maintain accountability for the finished product, the raw materials, and any by-products used or produced in the production or cultivation of low-THC cannabis to prevent unlawful possession or access to those materials, products, or by-products
  • the financial ability to sustain operations for not less than two years from the date of application

Moreover, Administrative Rule 12.7 states that all regulated premises must be located at least 1,000 feet from any school or daycare center that existed prior to the date of license application, measured from the nearest points on the respective property lines.

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in Fort Bend County?

Yes, retail is allowed in Texas but only for low-THC, medical-use cannabis. Texas Compassionate-Use Act Section 487.107 says that before dispensing low-THC cannabis to a patient for whom the low-THC cannabis is prescribed, the dispensing organization must verify that the prescription:

  • Presents the name of the person listed as a patient in the compassionate-use registry
  • Matches with the entry in the compassionate-use registry and the total amount of low-THC cannabis required to be filled
  • Has not previously been filled by a dispensary as indicated by the entry in the compassionate-use registry

After dispensing low-THC cannabis to a qualified patient, the dispensary shall record in the compassionate-use registry the details, including the date and time of dispensation and quantity of low-THC cannabis dispensed. Only cannabis for medical use is approved in Fort Bend County. Other forms, such as edibles or oils, are not approved for sale.

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in Fort Bend County?

The Texas Controlled Substances Act Section 481.120 dictates that the delivery of marijuana, even to registered patients, is a criminal offense. Only prescriptions are delivered by licensed dispensaries.

Patients may get low-THC cannabis prescriptions if: 

  • The patient is a resident of Texas  
  • The patient has one of the qualifying medical conditions 
  • A CUP (Compassionate Use Program) registered physician prescribes  
  • That qualified doctor decides the benefit outweighs the risk  

There is no age limit for low-THC cannabis prescriptions. Patients below 18 years old may need a legal guardian.

How to Get Medical Marijuana Card in Fort Bend County

The Compassionate-Use Program of Texas initially only applied to patients with intractable epilepsy. However, the Texas government has since expanded the list of health conditions eligible for inclusion. As of date, the Compassionate-Use Program of Texas is open to patients with the following conditions listed in Texas Occupations Code, Section 169.003:

To apply for the Compassionate-Use Program (CUP), you may need to:

  • Search for a CUP-registered physician in Fort Bend County and have your qualifying health condition certified
  • Have the physician enter your prescription in the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT)
  • Go to any licensed dispensary to obtain your prescription once your application is approved by the certifying doctor

At the dispensary, you need to provide a valid ID that includes your name, date of birth, age, and the last five digits of your Social Security Number.

For questions or concerns, you may also mail or contact:

Texas Department of State Health Services

Community Health Improvement Division

Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Section

MC 1965

PO Box 149347 Austin, TX 78714-9347

1100 West 49th Street

Austin, TX 78756

Phone: (512) 458-7111

How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of Fort Bend County?

To date, there are no sales taxes for medical marijuana in Texas. Since recreational use of marijuana is still illegal in the state, a study published by Excelsior College stated how legalizing recreational marijuana in Texas would have contributed to the state's economy if it taxed marijuana similarly to Colorado, Washington, and Oregon— states that have gained tax and revenue benefits from legalizing recreational marijuana over the years.

At present, a few Texan lawmakers are still proposing the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state.

The Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime Rates in Fort Bend County

According to the FBI crime report, data generated from the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office shows an increasing number of DUI arrests for the years 2014, 2015, and 2016, from 312 to 402, and 404, respectively. On the other hand, the number of drug possession cases for 2014, 2015, and 2016 vary from 389 to 468, and 441 arrests, respectively.

Note that the Compassionate-Use Act or low-THC medical cannabis use in Texas was legalized in 2015.

Fort Bend County Cannabis