Yes. Only licensed dispensing organizations are authorized to cultivate marijuana to produce low-THC cannabis in Midland County. House Bill 1535 defined low-THC cannabis as the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any segment of that plant or any manufacture, salt, compound, mixture, derivative, resin, preparation, or oil of that plant which contains no more than one percent (1%) by weight of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is a type of medical marijuana prescribed to patients. Marijuana remains illegal in Texas but allows hemp and cannabis derivatives such as cannabidiol (CBD).
Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Low-THC Cannabis Program Administrative Rules mandate cultivators to have the technical and technological ability to cultivate, manufacture, and dispense low-THC cannabis. The cultivator must prove they are experienced in the field of cultivation, analytical organic chemistry and microbiology, and analytical laboratory methods.
Growing your marijuana plant is prohibited in the state, and this act corresponds to fines and penalties. On the other hand, the rules do not expressly prohibit dispensing organizations from cultivating marijuana outdoors. It only requires that the cultivation area is secured and in an enclosed building.
Yes. Dispensing organizations licensed to manufacture low-THC cannabis may only conduct regulated functions at an approved location. The regulated premised must be at least 1,000 feet away from any public or private school or daycare center.
Cannabis manufacturers must ensure they use the best practices in limiting the contamination of their products with metals, residual solvents, fungus, mold, rot, pests, mildew, pesticides, bacterial diseases, and other contaminants which could be harmful. The licensee must test representative samples of all their processed products for levels of THC, CBD, and the abovementioned contaminants. Their employees and facility staff must be highly skilled in the extraction process and be alert for all emergency procedures.
In the event that the low-THC cannabis products are tested as defective or may cause adverse health consequences, the manufacturer must recall the products. They must identify the faulty products, to whom they were sold or distributed, and how they shall be disposed of or retrieved by the manufacturer.
Yes. Under the Compassionate Use Program, licensed dispensaries shall only sell low-THC cannabis to qualified patients or legal guardians who are registered in the CURT. Therefore, they shall not dispense these products to recreational users. As of February 2023, only three (3) dispensing organizations were authorized by the DPS.
State laws did not limit the age of the patient qualified to receive medical marijuana. However, minors may require their parents or legal guardian to buy for them. Patients and legal guardians may purchase low-THC cannabis products up to 1% by weight of THC. Smoking cannabis is not allowed in Texas. Thus, swallowing low-THC cannabis products is the proper form of administration permitted. Some forms of low-THC cannabis allowed in the state are oils, lozenges, edibles, gummies, lollipops, and other candies.
Yes. The dispensing organizations may provide delivery services where their employees send low-THC products to residential addresses. Patients and legal guardians may also purchase their prescription over the counter.
The prescription of medical marijuana must be registered in the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT) by the physician who diagnosed the patient. The entry serves as proof for the dispensary to validly deliver or dispense the product to the patient or legal guardian.
The Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT) is a secure online registry where certified physicians enter their patient’s prescriptions, which would allow the latter or their legal guardian to purchase from dispensaries. The CUP does not issue medical marijuana cards to qualified patients or legal guardians. To obtain their medications, the cannabis dispensaries shall only need to verify if the prescription and the corresponding patient were entered into the registry.
A patient must be a permanent resident in Texas and must be diagnosed with the following medical conditions to have medical marijuana:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Furthermore, the physician shall determine if medical marijuana use is reasonable for the patient. It is required its use shall be more beneficial to the patient's health than a risk.
The program does not require the patients to pay a registration fee to be entered into the registry. It guarantees the CURT system is available 24/7 to patients, physicians, and dispensaries.
Texas Department of Public Safety
5805 North Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78752-4431
PO Box 4087
Austin, TX 78773-0001
Midland County does not tax the sale of medical marijuana. Accordingly, no sales or excise tax is imposed on low-THC cannabis in the State of Texas. At most, the Compassionate Use Program only generates funds from the application fees (≈$7,400) and license fees (≈$490,000 for two years) collated from dispensing organizations. Other expenses include renewal and registration of the licensee.
A finance article predicted that Texas could generate nearly $400 million in excise tax revenue for three (3) years if recreational marijuana were legal in the state.
The Compassionate Use Act was legalized in 2015 that allowed the use of low-THC cannabis products to patients diagnosed with intractable epilepsy. Since then, more medical conditions have been added to the list, expanding the coverage of medical marijuana in Texas.
In Midland County, FBI Crime Data Explorer reported over 100 arrests of persons caught possessing illegal marijuana and two arrests of unlawful sale and manufacturing of marijuana in 2014, the year before medical cannabis was legal. By 2015, the number of arrests for illegal possession of marijuana had reduced to nearly 80, while illegal sale and manufacturing of the substance remained the same.
The latest report in 2021 revealed that the arrests went further down to 15 for illegal possession of cannabis and none for illegal sale and manufacturing of marijuana.