CBD in Texas: Everything You NEED to Know!
The legal position of CBD in the USA is a quagmire of confusion; in some states it is legal, in others it is not, and the federal government officially recognizes it as useful for some conditions, but not for others.
Nowhere is this more confusing than in the great state of Texas, with its draconian anti-drug laws that seem determined to make everything as complicated as possible. With its generally hard-line treatment for drug users, it is easy to think of Texas as a state where CBD oil might be entirely illegal. However, the situation is a bit more complicated than that.
Let’s take a look at Texas and its somewhat uniquely frustrating laws, and how they apply to CBD oil.
Texas’ Cannabis Laws
In contrast to the myriad of laws that have been passed across the USA which have sought to progress the plight of marijuana in the law, Texas has seen very little development in this regard. Though there was a State House Bill to try and legalize cannabis, it was quickly defeated in the House.
As it currently stands, any kind of marijuana possession is punishable by up to 6 months in prison, with a massive increase in prison time if you have more than what the Texas State Government considers ‘personal use,’ as they can then charge you with intent to distribute. Despite this, however, CBD oil is technically legal. It is legal in the same way that it is federally legal, meaning that it is only permitted to be used if you suffer from severe forms of epilepsy.
The Compassionate Use Act made it legal to own “Low-THC Cannabis” to treat epilepsy, but only if approved by your doctor. It has to contain less than 0.5% THC and 10% CBD, meaning you can get your hands on some weak CBD oil if you are suffering from an incurable illness. Despite this, however, CBD oil is still commonly sold throughout Texas. Though it is technically black market goods, many stores and individual private sellers, do stock CBD oil – albeit illegally. This is because CBD oil is considered a nutritional supplement when it is sold without any THC, or rather with less than 0.2% of it.
Due to this odd gap in the law, stores throughout the Lone Star state are able to sell CBD oil without marketing it for its medicinal purposes. Until last year, the state government was reluctant to pursue these stores, as the legal situation was so confusing that they feared breaking laws themselves. However, in April of 2018, the Texas Department of State Health Services threatened to remove all CBD products from stores finally, actually raiding one individual store and arresting its owner, trashing all of its CBD products in the process. This spawned a massive wave of public protesting, which eventually caused the state legislature to back down on their position. There is also one more additional legal complication, and it is one that exists due to conflicting government agendas.
The Confusion of Departmental Responsibility
Though it might sound utterly ridiculous, when it comes to government oversight in the USA, the proper department needs to be assigned to each individual problem. Once appointed, that department needs to have sole oversight on pursuing legal challenges or otherwise enforcing its rulings on people. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) initially sought legal action against CBD retailers, but there was a legal confusion about precisely which governmental body should oversee cannabis.
The Texas Cannabis Industry Association pointed out that it should, in fact, be the Texas Department of Public Safety, rather than the at-present concerned DSHS, who should be overseeing all cannabis related enforcement. This has caused a considerable amount of legal issues, as well as just generally muddying the waters further. It also causes a further issue, namely one of product reliability. Due to the continuous problems with CBD oil selling in the state, CBD oil currently exists in an odd limbo wherein retailers shouldn’t technically sell it, yet they openly do.
This means that not only is there the question of legality which causes a significant degree of uncertainty as to whether or not it can be reliably bought in the future, but there is also the question of product purity. When CBD oil is manufactured and sold under the law, there is a certain amount of regulations and oversight that occur which allow products to be properly vetted before human consumption. Though many manufacturers likely lament it, the fact remains that there exists relevant government organizations who ensure that every single product that enters your body has been adequately tested to make sure it actually is what it says it is. This is absolutely a good thing for the consumer, as it means that we can be reasonably confident that whatever we are buying is what it says on the label.
However, we can’t be so confident with CBD oil in unregulated states. As there is no one watching to make sure the products are actually what they say they are, there is no way to safely determine that each CBD oil bottle we buy is the same thing. This is so much more than a problem of product effectiveness, however; though it would be incredibly annoying to buy something that says it is CBD oil when it is actually something different, the real problem concerns THC content.
The law as it currently stands says that CBD oil is illegal to sell without an appropriate medical prescription and you can expect a suitable fine and/or prison sentence if you break this. This is of course not really enforced, but this is not the case with actual marijuana charges. If a product contains THC, the cannabinoid that causes the psychoactive effect within cannabis, then it is grouped under the same extremely stringent laws that punish drug users. Instead of the dubious question of whether or not you might be charged for owning CBD oil, you can suddenly find yourself in jail for up to 6 months due to your CBD oil containing THC.
Without proper oversight, we have no way of knowing whether or not any particular brand of CBD oil doesn’t actually contain too much THC. This is the main reason why most people want the legal situation with CBD oil cleared up once and for all, as without a clear and consistent response from the government, we not only don’t know what we are buying, but Texans everywhere are running the risk of much more severe charges due to ambiguous THC content.
However, why do Texans even want CBD oil?
Why Texas Want CBD Oil
Texans want CBD oil for the same reason that pretty much the entirety of the western world has been pursuing cannabis legalization for years: It helps people, and it isn’t dangerous. Though it is likely that proper cannabis legalization is many years away, the potential for CBD oil to help treat a myriad of different medical conditions makes the plight of legalizing CBD the priority.
CBD oil works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, encouraging the CB1 and CB2 receptors to naturally help heal the body and treat a myriad of different medical conditions. Instead of the vigorous, sometimes seriously dangerous, medications that are commonly offered by the US medical system, CBD doesn’t have any severe side effects, as well as having no risk of addiction whatsoever.
Not only does it not cause addiction, but it also doesn’t produce any psychoactive high – it is merely a beneficial, useful medicine that can be used for all kinds of illnesses, from chronic inflammation to neurodegenerative disorders. However, despite all this, CBD oil still exists in this particularly strange legal situation, with no likelihood of it changing in the future.
Final Thoughts – What is CBD’s Current Place in Texas?
In many states throughout the USA, cannabis is undergoing a widespread change, both in governmental policy and in public awareness. However, despite this wave of positive progression, Texas is sadly remaining slightly behind the times. As it currently stands, you can be technically arrested and charged if you either possess or sell CBD oil.
That being said, the reality of the situation is that many retailers openly stock CBD oil without being charged, and many Texas also openly use it. As there is no oversight on this CBD production or selling, it is entirely possible that you could get caught with CBD oil that has a higher than allowed THC content, pushing it into the category of marijuana possession and opening you up to far more difficult legal challenges.
Still more confusing is the fact that you can technically use CBD oil if you suffer from incurable epilepsy; however, there are no legalized producers of CBD oil, meaning any CBD oil you could get your hands on would be rendered illegal anyway.
The situation in Texas regarding CBD oil is extraordinarily confusing and not at all clear. It is simultaneously legal and illegal, safe to use and yet not safe to use. For the meantime, if you want to use CBD oil as a resident of Texas, then you are probably fine, but make sure you only buy it from a retailer that you trust and from a brand that you know to be reputable. You do not want to be caught with high-THC cannabis extract in the Lone Star state, no matter what the confusing laws say. Until the laws change, it is merely a case of buying it and hoping that it is what it says it is, and that the government doesn’t suddenly retake an interest in CBD and start arresting people.
Who knows what the future may bring?