Legislature Did Not Reduce Penalties for Possession of THC Concentrates
A record six bills regarding progressive changes to marijuana laws passed the Texas House of Representatives this past legislative session, though only two will become law. The Senate failed to vote on one measure to decriminalize the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana. In addition, a proposal to reduce penalties for THC concentrate possession did not pass.
House of Representatives Speaker Pro Tem Joe Moody sponsored House Bill 2593, which aimed to reduce the penalties for the possession of THC concentrates. This was in line with the many bills discussed that would lessen penalties for THC and marijuana possession, though not legalize possession of recreational marijuana completely. As of now, the laws regarding THC concentrate possession in Texas still stand.
What is THC Concentrate?
THC concentrates contain the cannabinoids and terpenes that marijuana flower has, but without any excess plant material. An ounce of concentrate has significantly more cannabinoids and terpenes than an ounce of flower. This is one reason why Texas law punishes possession of concentrates harsher than possession of marijuana flower.
Concentrates can take many forms, all of which can qualify for more severe penalties for possession in Texas. Some forms include:
- Oil in vape pens or dabs
- Infused edibles or lozenges
- Infused lotions, tinctures, or topicals
Both the oil itself and infused goods qualify as “concentrate” for the purposes of the law.
THC Concentrate Laws and Penalties
Currently, Texas law penalizes the possession of THC concentrates more like possession of hard street drugs (like PCP, MDMA, cocaine, or heroin) than marijuana because it is a felony offense, not a misdemeanor. Possession charges and penalties include:
- Less than one gram = State jail felony, up to two years in jail, fines up to $10,000
- One to four grams = Third-degree felony, up to ten years in prison, fines up to $10,000
- Four to 400 grams = Second-degree felony, up to 20 years in prison, fines up to $10,000
- More than 400 grams = First-degree felony, five to 99 years in prison, fines up to $50,000
HB 2593 would have reduced charges for less than two ounces (about 56 grams) of THC concentrate or infused products so that you would have faced a Class B misdemeanor charge. This would mean that jail time is still possible, but the potential penalties would include 180 days in jail and fines up to $2,000. These penalties would be more in line with the penalties for possession of other marijuana forms, though they will not be enacted at this time.
Contact an Experienced Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer
The law firm of J. Michael Price, II will be watching to see how marijuana and THC concentrate laws might change in the next legislative session in Texas. To discuss a drug possession case with a Collin County criminal defense attorney, contact us online or call 214-765-8000 today.