Recent legislation in the state of Texas, now legalizing the use of hemp, has created a conundrum for prosecutors in charge of handling marijuana offenses. The problems stem from the fact that making the distinction between hemp and marijuana is not a simple one.
The process to prove that a substance is marijuana, instead of hemp, requires a specific and expensive technology. In this post, we will provide more background about the blurring of the line for what is legal and illegal.
Hemp legalization in the state
Hemp was first legalized through a federal farm bill in 2018. In response to the federal law, Texas passed its own legislation that could help to control and place regulations on business that produce and sell hemp and hemp products such as CBD oil in their state.
In short, the passage of the bill made a legal distinction between what is classified as hemp and marijuana by stating that the substance had to have less than 0.3% THC to be legal. It is determining the level of THC that is leading to costly testing procedures.
How are the Texas prosecutors adjusting?
With low-level marijuana charges in the state carrying only a small penalty, many prosecutors, such as the ones in Bexar county, are dropping minor pot charges instead of opting for the costly testing method.
But the answer to the question is not so simple. Although marijuana is illegal and is considered illegal if it contains THC levels of 0.3% or higher, you are unlikely to face prosecution in many of the counties in the state of Texas for low-level charges such as possession of a personal use amount. Yet, there are some areas, such as El Paso that remain adamant about prosecuting even small cases of marijuana possession.
If you have been arrested for a marijuana offense in the state, it is vital to know your rights and retain representation to allow you to prepare for the best possible outcome for your case. Contact us at Mingledorff law today to speak with a trusted and experienced Houston trial attorney.