Marijuana

You Can Legally Buy Marijuana In Texas, Here’s How

Marijuana could be practically legal in Texas, according to a new Texas Monthly investigation, which found that most hemp shops in the state legally sell marijuana, not hemp.  

Thousands of hemp dispensaries sell highly potent cannabis strains with minimal oversight. The result is a sprawling, unregulated market.

Texas Monthly tested eight cannabis samples from dispensaries in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, all exceeding the legal limit for delta-9 THC. The investigation found that products sold as hemp were, in fact, potent marijuana. Testing by Anresco Laboratories confirmed this, with some strains containing up to 43.9 percent total THC.

“Let’s be honest and call it what it is,” Nico Richardson, CEO of Texas Original, one of the state’s three licensed medical marijuana dispensaries, told Texas Monthly.  “Most of the hemp dispensaries out there, knowingly or unknowingly, are selling illegal federal marijuana.”

The hemp industry argues that under current laws, their products are legal. However, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration disagrees, maintaining that THCa must also be below 0.3 percent. The investigation uncovered that some products exceed this limit, indicating widespread non-compliance and potential health risks due to untested contaminants.

State regulators are struggling to keep up. With only four inspectors for over seven thousand dispensaries, the Texas Department of State Health Services relies on manufacturers’ certificates, which are often unreliable. This lack of oversight has allowed the hemp industry to thrive, selling potent cannabis under the guise of legality.

Some lawmakers have already acknowledged the inadvertent legalization of cannabis.

And they can do it because these stores operate at the crossroads of poorly written laws, while chemists brewing up potent new strains, and an understaffed, underfinanced, and handcuffed state regulatory body.

“In a way, inadvertently, we passed a law that sort of legalized the use of cannabis in the state of Texas,” state senator José Menéndez, a San Antonio Democrat, said.

Senator Charles Perry, argued that the intent was to support agriculture, not to legalize marijuana.

“To be clear, Texas did not legalize pot—knowingly or unknowingly,” he said.

If you want to learn more about hemp and marijuana in texas, read the full Texas Monthly investigation.

RA Staff

Written by RA News staff.

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