CBD Oil in Texas: 2020 Legal Status Guide
Just a couple of years ago, the CBD business in Texas was moving at a snail’s pace. No one wanted to touch CBD, buy it, sell it, or even talk about it. Yet, today, CBD oil in Texas is as real, and as legal, as ever.
In fact, people are eager to learn more and CBD stores are popping up all over the state. CBD is becoming increasingly popular and CBD coffees, smoothies, and massages are a new normal for Texans.
However, seeing how state laws and regulations regarding the subject are overly complicated, many Texans are left confused, to say the least. So, to cut to the chase, is CBD oil legal in Texas? In a nutshell, yes. But, there are still some factors that can make your whole buying experience difficult.
We researched and studied the law and policies, and here’s everything you need to know about Texas laws and CBD oil.
Keep on reading to discover more about the topic!
CBD Texas Law: Marijuana, Hemp, CBD — Are They the Same?
First things first, we need to make a few distinctions. Lawmakers talk about marijuana, hemp, CBD, at the same time, thus people put them all in the same basket, adding to the overall chaos. In further text, we’ll try to explain “in plain English” what all these terms entail, and which ones are legal and illegal.
Now, both marijuana and hemp look and smell the same and come from the same plant family, so we can understand where all the confusion comes from. Yet, they’re not the same.
Essentially, they differ in THC levels (tetrahydrocannabinol — the substance responsible for making you “high”). According to CBD laws in Texas, marijuana has more than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis, whereas hemp has less than 0.3% THC. Therefore, marijuana use and possession in Texas is illegal, unlike hemp’s.
So, what is CBD then? CBD, or cannabidiol, is but one of about a hundred natural components found in a hemp plant. It can be extracted from the plant in the form of CBD oil, which can then be infused into other products — namely, food and drinks — or taken as is. Hence, when it comes to CBD oil, Texas regulations define it as legal… sort of (please bear with us).
The oil is packed with nutrients, as well as other amino and omega acids that bring you tons of health benefits. However, you should note that the FDA doesn’t approve, regulate, or control CBD products. The only CBD oil that the FDA approves of is Epidiolex — a drug used to control severe epilepsy seizures in children.
The Timeline of Texas CBD Laws
Before we come to the burning question of whether CBD oil is, in fact, legal in Texas, you should know one more thing: Texas has always had a complicated relationship with cannabis. Here’s a simplified timeline of the turbulent history of the Texas cannabis law, so you could better understand what’s happening today.
1915: The El Paso Ban — the first US city to ban cannabis.
1919: Restricted Sale — the possession of cannabis remained legal, but non-medicinal use was labeled a misdemeanor.
1931: Statewide Ban — cannabis possession was banned for the whole state of Texas.
1973: HB 447 — the new CBD oil Texas law classified the possession of up to 2oz of cannabis as a class B misdemeanor (there was a $1,000 fine along with three months of jail time) instead of it being considered a felony like only a couple of years prior.
2007: HB 2391 — instead of an immediate arrest, the possession of up to 4oz of cannabis meant the police could “cite and release”; the same penalties still applied though.
2015: HB 339 — the Texas Compassionate Use Act enabled the use of THC oil for specific epilepsy patients; only low THC oil was allowed (less than 0.5% THC). Other than that, CBD oil remained illegal in Texas.
2019: HB 1325 — industrial hemp with less than 0.3% THC was finally approved for cultivation. Also, both the sale and the possession of hemp-derived CBD products were declared legal.
2019: HB 3703 — the new Texas CBD laws of 2019 also expanded the list of conditions that qualify for the state’s medical cannabis program. The list included conditions such as:
- Multiple sclerosis MS
- Huntington’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
You should note that medical patients can only use low-THC CBD products, such as vape oils and inhalers, that have up to 0.5% THC.
2020: the state adjusts its laws and includes licensing and testing on the agricultural end (in line with the FDA’s guidelines), and is now handled by the state’s DSHS.
Is CBD Oil Legal in Texas?
Yes! CBD oil for regular use is finally legal in Texas. However, there are two major factors that influence its legality: the source of CBD and the concentration of THC.
CBD oil is completely legal if it’s derived from hemp that has less than 0.3% THC. This concentration of THC isn’t high enough to cause any psychoactive effects.
CBD oil laws in Texas also allow medicinal use of cannabis oil, as well, as long as it has less than 0.5% THC. Please note that this is only legal for medical patients that qualify for the state’s medicinal cannabis program.
House Bill 3703 has determined that qualifying illnesses are the following:
- Seizure disorders
- Multiple sclerosis
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Terminal cancer
- Incurable neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s)
CBD oil derived from marijuana has a much higher THC concentration and is therefore illegal for recreational purposes.
CBD Oil in Texas: Possible Law Issues
As good as this new law may sound, its implementation was a bit rocky. CBD users in Texas are still at risk of being detained while their CBD products are examined for their THC concentration. This is mainly due to the field tests that the Texas police uses that are unable to distinguish CBD oil from marijuana.
Just recently, a man spent a month in Amarillo jail for transporting industrial hemp, until the lab results showed that it was, in fact, all legal.
To avoid a CBD oil arrest in Texas, you should always thoroughly research the brand you want to buy CBD products from. Always shop with brands that have public third-party tests proving their oil has less than 0.3% THC and verify the source of the hemp.
Can You Buy CBD Oil in Texas
You can buy CBD oil, but as previously mentioned, you need to be extra careful when choosing a brand. The CBD market is swamped with thousands of brands, all claiming to have the most superb products out there.
To make sure that you’re buying a safe product pay attention to the following:
- Hemp source: hemp sourced from the US is usually the safest, mainly due to the strict agricultural restrictions. Kentucky and Colorado, for example, have the best hemp farms, which grow the plant in the purest way possible. More often than not, their hemp complies with strict CBD Texas laws.
- Extraction process: there are a couple of extraction processes available, yet the CO2 method is the cleanest one out there and produces CBD oil of the highest quality.
- Third-party testing: it’s essential that a CBD company tests all their products in an independent lab. This ensures that the lab results are objective and accurate. Lab sheets should show you the exact purity and potency of your CBD oil.
Where to Buy CBD Oil in Texas
If you need CBD oil to relieve everyday stress and anxiety, for aches and pains, or you just want to improve your overall well-being and wellness, you can look for CBD products in various dispensaries and stores. Texas is bursting with CBD dispensaries, with new ones popping up every day. The majority of them are in larger cities like Houston, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Fort Worth, and El Paso.
However, if you need CBD for a far more serious medical issue, you should consult your physician and apply for a medical marijuana card to avoid breaking the laws of CBD oil in Texas.
You can also browse the internet and order your CBD products online.
Can CBD Oil Be Shipped to Texas
Buying CBD products online and having them shipped to your home from another state is perfectly legal if the products are derived from hemp and contain less than 0.3% THC.
Ordering CBD online sometimes has more benefits than buying it in a brick-and-mortar store. Stores may carry only a few brands, whereas online stores offer an abundance of products that are only a few clicks away.
Can I Grow CBD in Texas
House Bill 1325 from 2019 allows the manufacture, production, inspection, and retail sale of industrial hemp in Texas. The production of CBD oil was also allowed by the law.
Still, growing hemp in Texas is not legal until the TDA (Texas Department of Agriculture) submits a state hemp plan to the USDA, which needs to approve it first. Even before sending the state plan to the USDA, the TDA needs to wait for guidance on implementing the procedures that came into effect on October 29, 2019. The application process should begin sometime in 2020, as estimated by the TDA.