Yes, cannabis cultivation is legal in Smith County, but Chapter 487 of the Texas Health and Safety Code restricts this to low-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabis for medical use. Texas Occupations Code Sec. 169.001 defines low-THC cannabis as cannabis plants with 1% or less THC content according to weight. The Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 487 Section 487.201 prohibits any county or municipality from forbidding the licensed cultivation of medical cannabis.
All matters regarding medical cannabis are handled by the Compassionate Use Program (CUP) created in 2015 by the Texas Department of Public Safety. A company that intends to cultivate medical cannabis commercially needs to apply for a medical cannabis dispensing organization license from the Texas DPS CUP. The same license includes not just cultivation but also the manufacturing and retail sale of low-THC medical cannabis. The company must, therefore, show proof of possessing the technical expertise and technological capabilities necessary for low-THC medical cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, and sales.
Texas Administrative Code Chapter 12 requires a licensed cultivation facility to be situated in a zonal district that has been approved for such a business. Outdoor cultivation is not allowed. The license holder is required to ensure that unauthorized entry, diversion, or stealing of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products are prevented by establishing tight security measures. All areas of the facility used to cultivate, manufacture, or store medical cannabis must be enclosed with a physical barrier that is always locked except for the entry or exit of authorized persons. The mechanical lock to be used must comply with life safety regulations. An inventory system must be in place to monitor all plants, raw materials, manufactured items, and byproducts.
Yes, manufacturing of cannabis is allowed in Smith County but, as stipulated by the Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 487, this is limited to medical cannabis products using low-THC cannabis as characterized by Sec. 169.001 of the Texas Occupations Code. Chapter 487 of the Texas Health and Safety Code prevents a county or municipality from prohibiting the licensed manufacturing of medical cannabis.
A company that intends to manufacture medical cannabis commercially is also required to hold a medical cannabis dispensing organization license granted by the Texas DPS CUP. Since the license also covers cultivation and dispensing, they will cultivate the low-THC cannabis they will use in manufacturing medical cannabis products and then dispense their goods by retail. They must, therefore, possess the knowledge and technology for all of these.
To prevent unauthorized access to their finished products, raw materials, and manufacturing waste, licensed medical cannabis manufacturers are expected to have strict security measures in place. All medical cannabis waste must be disposed of properly.
The Texas Agriculture Code's relevant rules must be followed by the licensed medical cannabis manufacturer. The following requirements must also be rigorously followed:
All appropriate regulations regarding safety, fire, and the building code must be complied with by the licensed medical cannabis manufacturing facility.
In extracting medical cannabis, only potable water must be used by the licensed medical cannabis manufacturer.
Only a registered and properly trained individual must manage the entire marijuana extraction process.
Certification is required from the licensed medical cannabis manufacturer as proof that the medical marijuana extraction system it uses is harmless, designed in compliance with recognized engineering principles, and intended for commercial manufacturing.
The THC and cannabidiol (CBD) concentrations in the contents of every batch of manufactured medical cannabis products must be tested through random sampling.
Child-resistant containers must be used by the licensed medical cannabis manufacturer with all its medical marijuana items.
Yes, it is legal to sell cannabis by retail in Smith County but, as mandated by Chapter 487 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, the only medical cannabis and medical cannabis products allowed for sale are those with low THC content according to the definition of Texas Occupations Code Sec. 169.001. These are only allowed to be sold to patients or their legal guardians who must be enrolled with the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT). Counties and municipalities may not disallow the licensed dispensing of medical cannabis to registered patients or their legal guardians, in accordance with the Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 487 Section 487.201.
Only a company that holds a medical cannabis dispensing organization license granted by the Texas DPS CUP can run a dispensary. All employees, officers, and directors must be registered with the CURT. The licensed medical cannabis dispensing organization facility must be at a distance of 1,000 feet or more from a daycare center or public or private school.
Smokable forms of medical marijuana are prohibited by Texas Occupations Code Ch. 169.00. Other than that, all other types of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products containing a maximum of 0.5% THC and a minimum of 10% CBD are allowed to be sold by retail in licensed medical cannabis dispensing organization stores. These include, among others, tinctures, oils, edibles, lozenges, and topical preparations.
The following are the duties that must be strictly fulfilled by each licensed medical cannabis dispensing organization in its dispensary:
A valid government-issued photo ID must prove the identity of the patient or the patient’s legal guardian.
Verification on the online CURT must prove that the patient is registered.
The prescription in the CURT belongs to the patient for whom the medical cannabis is being purchased.
The prescription has not yet been filled for the current period by another dispensary.
The medical cannabis being purchased tallies with the written order for the patient.
The time and date of the sale
The total quantity of low-THC medical cannabis or medical cannabis products sold
Yes, it is legal to deliver cannabis in Smith County but, in accordance with Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 487, only holders of the medical cannabis dispensing organization license are allowed to deliver to CURT-registered patients or their legal guardians the low-THC medical cannabis and medical cannabis products they have bought. Counties and municipalities are prohibited by Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 487 Section 487.201 from disallowing these deliveries.
Since not all licensed medical cannabis dispensing organization facilities are accessible to them, registered patients and their legal guardians are allowed to order their medical cannabis prescriptions online or by phone for delivery. The licensed dispensary is required to confirm online the patient’s registration and prescription in the CURT upon receiving the order. Before turning over the purchase during delivery, the licensed dispensary’s employee must ask for a valid government-issued photo ID from the patient or legal guardian to confirm identity.
There is no physical medical marijuana card being issued by the Texas DPS CUP. Patients need to register online in the CURT instead. If accepted, they need to present to a licensed dispensary to purchase medical cannabis their government-issued photo ID that has their surname, date of birth, and the last five figures of their Social Security number.
It is free to register in the CURT. The applicant’s data will be accessed by law enforcement agencies. The applicant is required to be a permanent Texas resident with one of the following medical conditions:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Incurable neurodegenerative disease
The diagnosis of the medical condition must be done by a CUP-registered physician. The patient must give a signed informed consent document allowing the doctor to register on the CURT online the identity and medical cannabis prescription of the patient.
Each patient is only allowed to have one prescribing physician. If the patient is a minor, a legal guardian must also be registered by the doctor in the CURT to purchase the medical cannabis prescription on the patient’s behalf.
The following may be contacted for further information:
Texas Department of Public Safety
Compassionate Use Program - MSC 0240
PO Box 4087
Austin, TX 78773-0240
Landline: (512) 424-7293
Medical cannabis is not covered by state sales taxes according to the Texas Low-THC Cannabis Program Administrative Rules. The state and its counties only benefit from the license fees paid by medical marijuana enterprises. They are required to pay a $7,356 medical cannabis business license application fee, a $530 registration fee if their application is accepted, and a $488,520 license fee. They must renew their license every two years with a $318,511 renewal fee.
The State of Texas legalized medical cannabis in 2015. According to data from the Smith County Sheriff's Office on the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer page, in 2014, there were 68 arrests related to marijuana offenses, of which 66 were for marijuana possession, and two were for marijuana manufacturing or sales. In 2021, this increased to 86 arrests related to marijuana offenses, of which 84 were for marijuana possession, and two were for marijuana manufacturing or sales. There were 17 DUI arrests in 2014. This increased to 177 DUI arrests in 2021.