Yes. Cannabis cultivation is legal in Williamson County but only in licensed dispensaries for medical marijuana use. Recreational cannabis use is still illegal in Texas. Under Texas's Compassionate-Use Program, certified physicians are only permitted to prescribe low-THC cannabis to qualified patients with certain medical conditions.
The Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 12, Subchapter B states that licensed dispensing organizations may only cultivate low-THC cannabis if they have experience in organic chemistry and microbiology, analytical laboratory methods, and cultivation. The law also says that the cultivation of low-THC cannabis must take place in an enclosed facility that is secure and out of public sight.
The Compassionate-Use Program Section 169.001 defines low-THC cannabis as the plant Cannabis sativa L., any compound, or any part of that plant that is composed of not more than 1% by weight of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. Medical cannabis use in Texas is limited to swallowing the prescribed dosage of low-THC. With that said, smoking cannabis is prohibited.
Yes, cannabis manufacturing is legal in Williamson County. In accordance with Texas Controlled Substances Act, cannabis manufacturers must register with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration to manufacture, distribute, possess, dispense, or analyze cannabis.
In addition, manufacturers must allow a peace officer or a member of the Texas Department Of Public Safety to conduct an inspection of audits or records of sales and purchases made at any time. They shall not interfere while the department does the audit, the complete inspection, or the copying of the records. Having said that, cannabis manufacturers are required to keep records and inventories to comply with recordkeeping requirements of federal law and additional rules the department adopts. Administrative Rule 12.7 also states that all premises must be located at least a thousand feet away from any daycare center and school that existed before the date of license application.
For cannabis manufacturing businesses to operate in the State of Texas, the Texas Compassionate-Use Act listed the following eligibility under Section 487.102:
the financial ability to support and maintain operations for at least two years from the date of license application
the technical and technological capacity to cultivate and produce low-THC cannabis
the ability to maintain accountability for the raw materials, by-products, and finished products used and produced during the cultivation and production of low-THC cannabis to prevent unlawful access to those products and materials
the capacity to secure all personnel, resources, and premises necessary for the operation, with an accessible location that allows certified patients under the compassionate-use registry access to the dispensing organization
Yes, cannabis retail is allowed in Williamson County, but only for low-THC cannabis for medical use. The Compassionate-Use Act Section 487.107 states that before dispensing low-THC cannabis to a certified patient, the dispensary must verify that the prescription:
Shows the name of the person listed under the compassionate-use registry
Matches with the details found in the compassionate-use registry and the total dosage or amount of low-THC cannabis required to be filled
Has not yet been filled by another dispensing organization in accordance with the entry in the compassionate-use registry
Once the low-THC cannabis is dispensed to a certified patient, the dispensary shall record all the details needed in the compassionate-use registry, which includes the date, time, and quantity of low-THC cannabis dispensed. As mentioned earlier, cannabis only for medical use is approved in Williamson County, and the allowed forms of cannabis include edibles. Other forms, such as oils or those for smoking, are not approved for sale.
Pursuant to the Texas Controlled Substances Act Section 481.120, the delivery of marijuana, even to certified patients, is considered a criminal offense. Only low-THC cannabis prescriptions are allowed for delivery by licensed dispensaries in the State of Texas.
Patients may be prescribed low-THC cannabis if:
The patient is a resident of Texas
The patient has a qualifying medical condition
A Compassionate-Use Program registered physician prescribes
That registered practitioner determines the benefit outweighs the risk
There is no age limit for patients to acquire low-THC cannabis prescriptions. Patients under the age of 18 may require legal guardianship.
The State of Texas does not issue medical marijuana ID cards, but instead, the patient must seek out a prescription from a physician registered under the Compassionate-Use Program. The Compassionate-Use Program was initially only for patients with intractable epilepsy. However, the State of Texas has since expanded the list of eligible health conditions. Currently, the Texas Compassionate-Use Program is open to patients with the following medical conditions listed in Texas Occupations Code, Section 169.003:
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
a seizure disorder
post-traumatic stress disorder
To apply for the Compassionate-Use Program (CUP), you may need to:
Find a CUP Registered Physician in Williamson County and prove an eligible medical condition
Have your doctor enter your prescription into the Compassionate-Use Registry of Texas (CURT)
Once your application is approved by a licensed doctor, go to a licensed dispensary to pick up your prescription
The dispensary will require you to present a valid ID that includes your name, age, the last five digits of your Social Security Number, and date of birth.
For questions, you may contact:
Texas Department of State Health Services
Community Health Improvement Division
Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Section
PO Box 149347 Austin, TX 78714-9347
1100 West 49th Street
Austin, TX 78756
Phone: (512) 458-7111
Currently, Texas does not have sales tax on medical cannabis, and recreational cannabis use is still illegal in the State. A study published by Excelsior College found that if Texas taxed cannabis the same way as Oregon, Colorado, and Washington did, recreational cannabis would have contributed to the State's economy. Legalizing recreational cannabis in Oregon, Colorado, and Washington has brought tax and revenue benefits for years.
Nevertheless, there are updates that lawmakers in Texas are proposing the legalization of recreational cannabis in the State.
The FBI crime report shows that the data from Williamson County Sheriff's Office presents a varying number of DUI cases for the years 2014, 2015, and 2016, from 254 to 187, and 231 arrests, respectively. Meanwhile, the number of drug possession arrests for 2014, 2015, and 2016 also vary from 577 to 561, and 652 cases, respectively.
Note that low-THC medical cannabis use in the State of Texas was legalized in 2015.