TX Hemp & Marijuana Law – New Laws for 2019
The laws have changed in Texas for 2019 and Low-THC products like hemp plant, hemp-oil, and CBD-oil are legal, if they contain less than 0.3% THC. This is nowhere near full-scale legalization of cannabis, or even legalization for medical use – but, it IS a big step for the state of Texas. Additionally, there are implications on Marijuana and Cannabis oil (THC) prosecutions, as a result of the new lab, and the State laboratories inability to quantify, or measure, the amount of THC in a plant or oil. The range of consequences for possession of the plant or the oil is more drastic than ever across the state of Texas – in some neighboring counties you could face the disparate consequences of a dismissal with a class completion in one county, or a guilty plea or felony trial in another.
What does the new law say?
On June 10, 2019, Governor Abbot signed House Bill 1325, what has become known as the Hemp Farming Act (Act). The Act was passed with the intention of promoting the cultivation and processing of hemp and hemp products. See HB 1325 sec. 2(b)(2). Although it is agreed that the bill became effective upon signing, it is disputed whether it applies retroactively
Under the new law “hemp” plant, and its seeds, derivatives, extracts,etc., with a (THC) concentration of not more than 0.3 percent.
How does this affect people charged with Marijuana or THC oil?
The unintended consequence of the law change is that there is added difficulty proving possession of Marijuana and THC, or cannabis oil. This is because the laboratories around the state cannot distinguish between Hemp that contains less than 0.3% THC, and higher concentration Cannabis plant or THC-oil. The labs in the state of TX can currently only detect the presence of THC and cannot quantify the amount.
Now, to prove possession of marijuana or THC-oil, the state must prove possession and also prove that the substance is actually marijuana or a THC containing product with over 0.3% THC.
The added element that the State of Texas must now prove in a Marijuana or THC-oil case is that “the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the marijuana contained THC greater than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.” COnsidering that the labs cannot prove up the allegation (unless new methods are develloped and implemented), the State must prove this up through other evidence, including admissions and physical evidence indicating the item has a higher THC concentration. This is the element that has prompted many prosecutors to no longer accept marijuana charges, and to go so far as to instruct law enforcement agencies not to file marijuana cases unless THC levels can be proven to be above the 0.3 percent threshold.
If I am suspected of Marijuana or THC oil possession, what should I do?
#1 DO NOT make any admissions about possession of Marijuana or THC-oil.
2 – DO NOT keep Marijuana or THC-oil products in the original packaging that indicates it is a high-THC cannabis product!
CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA OR THC?
If accused of a drug crime, including Possession of Marijuana or Cannabis Oil (THC), you need an attorney with proven results, winning cases. Attorney Tristan LeGrande gets results – CALL NOW for a Free Consultation!
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