The Future of Cannabis in Texas

In 2018, Texas legalized industrial hemp, a plant that belongs to the cannabis family. Unlike marijuana, hemp ha

s minimal amounts of delta-9 THC, the psychoactive compound that causes you to feel high. Instead, hemp is typically rich in CBD, one of the many other cannabinoids found in the plant. As many are aware, CBD can be used to treat symptoms of insomnia, pain, anxiety, and several other mild medical conditions.

While hemp and CBD products are legal in the state, the use of recreational THC cannabis is not allowed. Possession of any quantity up to 2 ounces is deemed a Class B misdemeanor, which can be punishable by hefty fines.

The motion to legalize THC marijuana is a very controversial issue for Texans. However, a study conducted by Texas Southern University and the University of Houston showed that 67 percent of Texans were pro-legalizing recreational cannabis. With this being said, many are curious as to how the cannabis landscape will change in Texas throughout the next several years.

Follow along as we examine the future of cannabis in Texas!

Medical Vs. Recreational Cannabis

Like many other U.S. states, cannabis is employed for medicinal purposes only in Texas. The law allows persons over 18+ years to buy medicinal cannabis if they have a medical marijauna card issued by a doctor and stick to the required amounts. However, the medical program is extremely limited, only allowing for low-dose THC consumables.

However, the use of recreational (also known as adult-use) cannabis remains illegal. There's even been controversy surrounding delta-8 THC, a less potent compound of cannabis that's gained traction over the past few years due to its similarities to delta-9 THC. The delta-8 grey area presents issues for lawmakers when trying to regulate hemp products online and in stores.

Should Texas Legalize Cannabis?

Cannabis can play a crucial role in helping those who suffer from chronic pain and illness in several states. It also presents a massive economic opportunity when legalized for adult-use.

However, this is not to say that there aren't downsides. Texas is a famously conservative state, meaning many citizens would likely frown upon the stigma surrounding adult-use cannabis. Many argue that legalization would negatively affect the youth, although there's not necessarily hard evidence supporting this claim. It all depends on a person's perspective.

Benefits of Legalizing Cannabis

The popularity of marijuana makes it a go-to hobby for many adults, despite it remaining federally illegal. A survey indicates approximately 600,000 Americans a year are apprehended for possession of illegal marijuana. It's argued that legalization would reduce the number of people involved in the criminal justice system, giving minorities and underrepresented groups new opportunities.

Legalizing cannabis will also introduce billions of dollars into the economy. In fact, a 2020 report from cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg LLP estimated that the state would see approximately $2.7 billion per year in cannabis sales. Not to mention, the industry would create thousands of jobs.

In addition to medical benefits, the points mentioned above are an attractive opportunity for the state to grow its already massive economy.

Surrounding States

In the south as a whole, legal cannabis is not an unusual thing. New Mexico, which shares a border with Texas, legalized adult-use marijuana in April 2022. It is amongst one of the 18 U.S. states that allow adults over 21 to consume with few regulations. Other states like Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Unlike Texas, these states have more comprehensive programs that allow for products like high-THC smokables.

The Fate of Cannabis in Texas

The legalization of medicinal cannabis brought unique challenges to lawmakers in Texas. Some legislators feel that the sales of medicinal cannabis are creating a pathway for adult usage. Others feel that using cannabis as medicine is not practical nor necessary. Either way, the legislators' opinions are divided. Now that adult-use marijuana is being sold on Texas's doorsteps in New Mexico, the pressure is mounting on them to break soon!

To keep up with the future of cannabis and hemp in Texas, tune into Calling All Growers, hosted by fierce cannabis advocate and proud Texan Liz Grow!