Yes. The use of low-THC cannabis for medical purposes is allowed in Gregg County. Meanwhile, the recreational use of marijuana remains prohibited in the State of Texas. According to Sec. 169.001 of the Texas Occupations Code, low-THC cannabis is the plant Cannabis sativa L., and part of that plant or any compound, manufacture, derivative, salt, preparation, mixture, oil, or resin of the plant that does not contain more than 1% by weight of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Dispensing organizations are authorized to cultivate, manufacture, and dispense low-THC cannabis to qualified patients. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) only issues three dispensing organization licenses in the state. According to the Texas Compassionate-Use Act, the applicant organization shall be eligible to obtain this license if it possesses the technical and technological ability to cultivate low-THC cannabis and be accountable for the raw materials, finished product, and any by-products used or produced in the cultivation of low-THC cannabis to prevent unlawful access to or diversion of those materials, products, and by-products. As of April 2023, an application for a dispensary organization license has yet to be made available.
Under the Low-THC Cannabis Program Administrative Rules, the cultivation area of low-THC cannabis must be in an enclosed and secured building. It may also occur in an enclosure within a building that offers adequate protection against the diversion of cannabis products and raw materials used in or by-products created by cultivating and producing low-THC cannabis. The rules do not expressly prohibit the cultivation of cannabis outdoors. The licensee must limit access to the cultivation floor to a minimum number of employees necessary to grow cannabis.
Growing your own marijuana plant for personal use is illegal in Texas. Only licensed dispensing organizations are permitted to cultivate marijuana in the state.
Yes. Licensed dispensary organizations are allowed to manufacture low-THC cannabis in Gregg County. The qualifications manufacturers need to obtain dispensary organization licenses are similar to those of cultivators and dispensers. The applicant must also possess the technical and technological ability to process low-THC cannabis and the financial ability to maintain the process of low-THC cannabis for two years from the date of application.
Employees of cannabis manufacturers must strictly follow the best practices in limiting contamination of cannabis products with residual solvents, metals, mold, fungus, bacterial diseases, rot, pests, pesticides, mildew, and other harmful contaminants. The equipment, counters, and surfaces used for manufacturing low-THC cannabis must be food-grade and nonreactive, with any solvent being used. Only potable water may be used by the licensee during product extraction processes.
The manufacturer shall send representative samples of the processed cannabis products for testing the levels of THC and cannabidiol (CBD); and for residual solvents, pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers, mold, and heavy metals. All final packaging of the low-THC cannabis products for patient consumption must be in child-resistant packaging constructed to be difficult for children under five years old to open but not too hard for adults to use appropriately.
Yes. The Compassionate Use Program (CUP) authorizes dispensing low-THC cannabis to patients diagnosed with specific medical conditions and legal guardians registered in the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT). Therefore, dispensing organizations may not sell cannabis products to recreational users of marijuana.
HB 1535 increased the maximum THC level of cannabis to 1% by weight allowed to be sold. Smoking low-THC cannabis is prohibited. Marijuana edibles, oils, tablets, gummies, and the like are permitted as long as the THC levels do not exceed 1% by weight. Doctors may prescribe low-THC cannabis to patients of all ages, provided that minors are required to have legal guardians to obtain their medications. The physician shall enter the names of the legal guardians in the CURT to allow the latter to purchase low-THC cannabis for their patients.
The dispensing organizations have the duty to verify that the prescription presented by the patient or legal guardian is registered in the CURT and that the total amount of low-THC in the prescription matches the entry. They must ensure that no dispensary has previously filled the prescription in the registry. After dispensing the prescribed amount of low-THC cannabis, the dispensing organization shall record the form and quantity of the cannabis product distributed and the date and time of dispensation in the CURT.
In the event that a cannabis product is defective or its exposure shall cause adverse health consequences, the licensee must recall their products. They must be able to identify the products involved, notify key personalities to whom the products were sold or distributed, and plan how the product shall be disposed of, returned, or retrieved by the dispensing organization.
The regulated premises of dispensing organizations must be located at least 1,000 feet away from any public or private daycare facility or school.
Yes. Patients may opt to have their prescriptions of low-THC cannabis delivered to their doorstep by the dispensing organization’s employees. They may contact the licensees to determine their specific delivery services.
The dispensing organizations must verify that the patient’s prescription is registered in the CURT to deliver marijuana products to them validly.
Medical marijuana cards are not issued to patients or legal guardians. Instead, qualified physicians register and prescribe low-THC cannabis to patients with certain medical conditions in the CURT. Once entered in the registry, the dispensing organizations can search for the patient in the system and dispense the product according to the prescription listed.
He is a permanent resident of Texas
He is diagnosed with any of the following medical conditions:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
A seizure disorder, or
His qualified physician determines that the risk of using low-THC cannabis for medical purposes is reasonable in light of its potential benefit.
The CURT system is available to dispensing organizations and physicians 24 hours a day. Patients do not need to pay a fee to register. The physician enters the patient’s information in the registry.
Texas Department of Public Safety
5805 North Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78752-4431
PO Box 4087
Austin, TX 78773-0001
The State of Texas does not impose taxes on the sale of medical marijuana. The CUP generates funds from license fees and registration fees. For instance, the application fee for dispensing organization license is $7,356, and a license fee costs $488,520 for two years. The biennial renewal of license fee costs $318,511, while the original and renewal registration fees amount to $530, per the Administrative Rules.
According to a report, Texas could be generating nearly $400 million in excise taxes for the sale of recreational marijuana for a period of three years if selling recreational marijuana was legal.
Legislators signed into law the Texas Compassionate-Use Act in 2015, which allowed dispensing of low-THC cannabis to patients with epilepsy. Further amendments to the Act followed in the succeeding years, expanding the qualifying medical conditions and increasing the maximum amount of THC levels in cannabis products.
Data from the FBI Crime Data Explorer reported 547 driving under the influence (DUI) arrests in 2014, a year before medical marijuana was lawful. By 2016 and 2017, this figure decreased to 184 and 85 DUI arrests in Gregg County.
The Gregg County Sheriff’s Office made 213 arrests for the illegal possession of marijuana in 2014. The number of arrests dropped to 59 and 30 in 2016 and 2017, respectively. As for the illegal sale/manufacturing of marijuana, only one arrest was reported in 2014 and another in 2016. By 2017, no apprehension was made for the same offense.