Cannabis cultivation is legal in Galveston County, but only for medical purposes as mandated by the Compassionate Use Program (CUP) under the Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 487 passed in 2015. The Code’s Section 487.201 prohibits any municipality, county, or other political subdivisions to ban low-THC cannabis or medical marijuana cultivation.
The Texas Department of Public Safety allows only the cultivation of “low- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabis” for medical use. “Low-THC cannabis” is defined by Texas Occupations Code Sec. 169.001 as having only 1% or less content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) according to weight in any section of the marijuana plant or its derivative, oil, salt, or resin.
To legally cultivate medical cannabis, an entity must acquire a license from the Texas Department of Public Safety. All licensed marijuana businesses are only permitted to operate in sites that have been approved, according to Texas Administrative Code Chapter 12. To grow low-THC cannabis, they must be technically and technologically capable. Additionally, cannabis-growing businesses are responsible for limiting unauthorized access to their crops or by-products. To prevent diversion or illegal access to these compounds, they should be able to maintain an inventory of all raw materials, finished products, and any byproducts. Finally, a structural barrier with a mechanical locking mechanism that conforms with life safety laws should be used to restrict access to growing, manufacturing, or product storage areas. If not in use for entry or exit, the barrier must always be shut and locked.
Cannabis manufacturing is legal in Galveston County only for medical purposes and by licensed manufacturers according to Chapter 487 of the Texas Health and Safety Code. Section 487.201 of the Code states that medical marijuana manufacturing cannot be prohibited by counties, municipalities, and any other political subdivisions. Medical cannabis processed by licensed cannabis manufacturers must contain only one percent or less of THC according to weight.
Licensed marijuana manufacturers must have the technical and technological know-how to process medical cannabis. They are accountable for maintaining the highest security measures to protect not only their finished products but also their raw materials and production by-products.
In addition to complying with the applicable provisions of the Texas Agriculture Code, licensed cannabis manufacturers must meet the following requirements:
The concentrations of THC and cannabidiol (CBD) should be determined in representative samples of all manufactured goods.
Facilities must adhere to all applicable fire, safety, and construction code regulations.
The cannabis extraction system must be certified to have been commercially made, safe for its purpose, and developed in accordance with sound engineering principles. The entire extraction process must be operated by a registered and properly trained individual.
Products may only be extracted using potable water.
Child-resistant packaging is required for all products.
Cannabis retail is legal in Galveston County only by licensed dispensaries and only for medical purposes in compliance with Chapter 487 of the Texas Health and Safety Code. The dispensing of medical marijuana cannot be forbidden by counties, municipalities, and any other political subdivisions according to Section 487.201 of the Code.
Licensed medical marijuana dispensaries are required to have all the necessary technical and technological expertise to dispense medical cannabis. They can only sell to patients who are in the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT) online.
Texas Occupations Code Ch.169.001 forbids the selling and use of any smokable form of cannabis. Any other form of low-THC medical cannabis is allowed, such as edibles, tinctures, lozenges, oils, and others, provided they contain a maximum of 0.5% THC by weight and a minimum of 10% CBD by weight.
The distance between a licensed medical marijuana dispensary and a daycare facility, public school, or private school cannot be less than 1,000 feet. Dispensary employees, supervisors, and directors all need to be CURT-registered. They will have their fingerprints taken as part of a criminal record check.
A licensed dispensary has the following responsibilities:
Before dispensing, employees must verify the following:
The patient is registered in the CURT.
The prescription is for the patient making the purchase.
The total amount of low-THC products to be dispensed to the patient matches the dose in the prescription.
The prescription has not been filled by other dispensaries.
After dispensing, the employees must record in the CURT the following:
The date and time of the sale
The total amount of low-THC medical marijuana dispensed
Cannabis delivery is legal in Galveston County only for medical purposes and only by licensed dispensaries as mandated by Chapter 487 of the Texas Health and Safety Code. The delivery of medical cannabis cannot be banned by counties, municipalities, and any other political subdivisions as held by Section 487.201 of the Code. Licensed dispensaries can only deliver medical marijuana to the registered residential address of patients in Galveston County who are registered in the CURT.
Since the availability of physical stores of licensed dispensaries is limited statewide, patients can order their prescribed medical cannabis through a call or online for delivery. The patient’s identity will be checked against the CURT by the dispensary. The patient or legal guardian must present a valid ID to prove identity before the medical cannabis is turned over on delivery.
Medical marijuana cards are not issued in Galveston County and throughout the state of Texas. Instead, patients need to register in the CURT.
To register, patients must be permanent residents of Texas. They must first search for CUP-registered physicians and choose one to examine them to determine if they have any of the following qualifying medical conditions:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Incurable neurodegenerative disease
Post-traumatic stress disorder
The doctor must give the patient an informed consent document to sign after making a diagnosis. Only one registered doctor may act as a prescriber for a patient. The doctor then inputs the medical cannabis prescription and the patient's name into the CURT online system. The doctor will also add the legal guardian's name to the CURT if the patient is a minor.
The registration of patients in the CURT is free. Law enforcement agencies will have access to this data.
The patient must present an ID that includes their last name, date of birth, and their Social Security number’s last five digits when they visit the dispensary. The legal guardian must also present similar identification.
Patients and their legal guardians may reach the Texas Department of Public Safety for other queries regarding the CUP through:
Mail: Texas Department of Public Safety
Compassionate Use Program - MSC 0240
PO Box 4087
Austin, TX 78773-0240
Landline: (512) 424-7293
Texas does not impose sales taxes on medical marijuana but it imposes licensing fees on medical cannabis businesses as indicated in the Low-THC Cannabis Program Administrative Rules. The application fee is $7,356. If the application is approved, there is a two-year license fee of $488,520 and a $530 registration fee. The same registration fee is payable every two years plus a renewal fee of $318,511.
The CUP was passed in 2015. Data from the FBI shows that in 2014, there were 886 arrests for drug abuse violations in Galveston County, of which 301 were for marijuana possession and two were for marijuana manufacturing or sales. This decreased to 352 arrests for drug abuse violations in 2021, of which 50 were for marijuana possession and three were for marijuana manufacturing or sales. DUI arrests increased minimally from 412 in 2014 to 413 in 2021.