Yes. However, only licensed cannabis dispensaries can cultivate low-THC cannabis in McLennan County. Marijuana is still illegal in the State of Texas but accepts hemp and marijuana derivatives such as CBD. Low-THC cannabis is a type of medical marijuana. The Texas Occupations Code defines it as “the plant Cannabis sativa L., and any part of that plant or any compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, preparation, resin, or oil of that plant that contains not more than 1% by weight of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).”
Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Low-THC Cannabis Program Administrative Rules provide for the rules and limitations regarding the cultivation, processing, and product storage of low-THC cannabis and other derivatives. Cultivators must ensure that access to cannabis products is prevented. Unauthorized individuals or the public must not have unrestricted access to the cultivation facility. Low-THC cannabis cultivation areas must be in a secured and enclosed building which would prevent the diversion of the products.
The rules for the cultivation of low-THC cannabis by licensed cultivators do not expressly prohibit growing cannabis outdoors. It only states that the cultivation area must be secured and in an enclosed building.
Yes. Dispensing organizations are authorized to cultivate, manufacture, and distribute low-THC cannabis to eligible patients with physician prescriptions. Manufacturers must have the technical and technological ability to produce low-THC cannabis. Their processing premises must be logically located to allow convenient access of patients to the dispensing organization. In addition, the manufacturer must maintain standards of accountability for the raw materials, finished low-THC products, and any of its by-products to avoid unauthorized access or unlawful diversion or possession of the materials, products, or by-products.
The Administrative Rules state that licensees must use and apply the best practices in limiting contamination of low-THC products from metals, residual solvents, fungus, mold, rot, bacterial diseases, pesticides, pests, mildew, and other harmful contaminants.
In case of a defect or reasonable probability that the use of low-THC cannabis and its by-products will cause adverse health consequences, the manufacturers must have an established plan for recalling their products.
The dispensing organizations must fully cooperate with the DPS, state fire marshal, or local designee of the state marshal for any investigation or inspection of their employee records, laboratory test results, inventory and destruction records, or other records deemed necessary by the authorities.
Yes. Cannabis dispensaries only sell to registered patients under the Compassionate Use Program. Individuals shall not get hold of cannabis products for recreational use or those without prescriptions from authorized physicians.
The State of Texas only allows three dispensing organizations to sell low-THC cannabis products to patients. This limitation was based on the research and analysis of other compassionate use programs held in other states, the number of patients with intractable epilepsy, and other requirements under the law.
When it comes to age restrictions, the laws in the state places no limitations on the patient’s age to purchase low-THC cannabis. However, minors shall be accompanied by their legal guardian.
Patients may purchase cannabis products not more than 0.5% by weight of THC and not less than 10% by weight of CBD. Swallowing the products is the proper form of administering these substances is swallowing. Texas prohibits smoking marijuana products.
Yes. The patients may opt to have their cannabis medications delivered to their homes through the dispensing organizations’ employees. They may also obtain cannabis products from the dispensaries’ locations. In case the patient is a minor or cannot buy low-THC cannabis personally, his legal guardian is authorized to purchase it on his behalf.
The dispensaries must double-check if the prescription was entered in the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT) by the designated physician and that the patient or legal guardian has proper proof of identity.
The Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT) was established as a secure online registry of certified physicians under the Compassionate Use Program (CUP) who may prescribe low-THC cannabis products to qualified patients.
The CUP does not issue medical marijuana identification cards to patients. Physicians who have ascertained patients who need low-THC cannabis shall register the prescription and the patient in the CURT system. The dispensaries shall then verify the prescription and the patient or caregiver in the system for proper distribution of the medication.
Physicians shall consider individuals as qualified patients and may receive low-THC cannabis if the following requirements are met:
Patient is a permanent resident of Texas.
Patient is diagnosed with the following conditions:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Patient’s risk of using low-THC cannabis as a medication is reasonable, considering its potential benefit.
Patients do not need to pay a fee to be registered in the CURT. The program guarantees that the CURT will be available to physicians, patients, and dispensaries 24/7 to meet their needs.
Texas Department of Public Safety
5805 North Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78752-4431
PO Box 4087
Austin, TX 78773-0001
Profit is not the primary goal of cannabis dispensaries since recreational use and marijuana possession are prohibited in the state. No sales tax is imposed upon the sale and purchase of medical marijuana in Texas. The CUP generates funds from application and license fees collected from dispensing organizations. Other costs also include registration fees and renewal of licenses.
An economic analysis report stated that the state could generate billions of dollars in cannabis tax revenue and create thousands of jobs if marijuana is legalized in Texas. From an economic standpoint, with the estimated adult use of marijuana in the country, cannabis sales could spike up to $2.7 billion every year.
The legalization of medical marijuana was made possible through House Bill 1535, which was signed into law in 2015.
In 2014, the FBI Data Explorer reported more than 66 thousand arrests for illegal possession of marijuana, while in 2015, fewer than 60 thousand arrests for the same act in Texas. These figures present a 6,000 decrease in arrests following the year medical marijuana was legalized. The following year, there were 64 thousand arrests – a 4,000 increase from 2015 but lower than the baseline year in 2014.
In McLennan County, over 50 arrests for illegal possession of cannabis were made in 2014. By 2015, this number was reduced to around 30 arrests. However, 70 arrests occurred in the county the following year.
Over 1,500 arrests were made by the FBI for the illegal sale and manufacturing of marijuana in 2014 in the State of Texas. Meanwhile, less than 1,500 arrests were reported by 2015 - a difference of 50 arrests in a year. By 2016, the number of arrests went down to over 1,300. In McLennan County, no arrest for the unlawful sale and manufacturing of cannabis was recorded by the FBI in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, one arrest was made by the authorities.