Lawmakers in Lubbock, Texas have officially approved a resolution to put a local marijuana decriminalization initiative on the ballot next spring after declining to enact on the reform legislatively. The Lubbock City Council voted on Tuesday to schedule a special election on the issue for May 4, 2024. This comes one month after legislators unanimously rejected the decriminalization proposal that was put on the agenda after activists submitted enough signatures to force its consideration. The committee behind the marijuana initiative first filed… Read more.
Your daily dose of news & information.
On January 16, the Regulatory Services Division (RSD) of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced that officials were accepting applications for new licenses under the Compassionate Use Program (CUP) for dispensing organizations. Prospective applicants for the new medical cannabis dispensary licenses could utilize the designated RSD application form for submission. The application period ended at 5 p.m. C.T. on April 28. Individuals who had previously applied for a cannabis retail license could reapply using an updated application form.… Read more.
Voters in another Texas city will have the chance to decide on a local marijuana decriminalization initiative on the ballot after the Lubbock City Council declined to enact the reform legislatively on Tuesday. In a 0-7 vote, local lawmakers unanimously rejected the measure, which was put on the agenda after activists submitted enough signatures to force consideration of the decriminalization proposal. It will now go before voters in May 2024. The committee behind the initiative first filed paperwork for the… Read more.
Texas regulators have received 132 applications to open medical marijuana dispensaries, but it’s not clear how many will be approved, or when. There’s no official deadline for the Texas Department of Public Safety to approve applications, according to Austin-based TV station KVUE. The window to apply to operate under the state’s Compassionate Use Program (CUP) opened last January and closed in April. Low-dose medical marijuana – the THC cap was raised from 0.5% to 1% in 2022 – is currently legal in Texas under the CUP.… Read more.
With Lubbock city leaders set to consider a citizen-initiated proposed ordinance to decriminalize cannabis on Tuesday, a Texas advocacy group has released a report looking at the impacts of similar marijuana reform efforts passed by voters in five different jurisdictions during the 2022 election. It found that the measures will keep hundreds of people out of jail, even as they have led to blowback from law enforcement in some cities. The report, from Ground Game Texas, looks at local decriminalization… Read more.
Organizers at SXSW this week unveiled a slate of more than 450 sessions chosen for the conference set to kick off in March. Among them are a handful of panels focused on legal marijuana and a whopping 13 sessions on psychedelics. It’s a sign of the shifting interest of the cutting edge conference as cannabis becomes more embedded into the mainstream and psychedelics emerge as the next big thing in drug policy. The sessions on MDMA, psilocybin and other substances… Read more.
When Congress legalized industrial hemp in 2018, it prompted a tidal wave of CBD-based products while also eliminating a front in the war on drugs. But in Texas, some local law enforcement officials continue to fight the old battle, as a report this week in the Dallas Observer highlights. The story details a recent raid at the store Venom Vapors in Killeen, Texas, where cops, building inspectors and even the local fire marshal showed up one morning earlier this month saying they had received… Read more.
Agricultural scientists at Texas’ Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) have received a $299,162 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to study the use of hemp as animal feed. The three-year study will be conducted by research scientists from the university’s Department of Agriculture, Nutrition and Human Ecology and will focus on the nutritional profile of industrial hemp plant biomass byproducts, and their impact on goats, to determine if hemp biomass can… Read more.
Advocates in Lubbock, Texas on Tuesday submitted their petition to decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis in the city after collecting more than twice the number of signatures required to force city lawmakers to vote on the proposal, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports. Freedom Act Lubbock submitted 10,540 signatures to the city secretary’s office, exceeding the 4,800 signature requirement. The city secretary’s office still needs to verify the signatures are valid before the issue moves to the City Council. The ordinance aims… Read more.
Advocates in Texas recently announced that they’ve collected enough signatures to add a decriminalization initiative to the ballot in Lubbock, located in the northwestern part of the state. According to 2022 census data, the city is home to 264,000 people, and is among the top 10 most populated cities in the state. On Oct. 11, advocates announced that they have collected 8,800 signatures for the Freedom Act Lubbock to qualify for the ballot. This is far more than the required amount, which is set at… Read more.
A Texas appeals court upheld a temporary injunction against a state ban on delta-8 THC on Thursday, a win for a coalition of businesses and consumers contesting the ban’s legitimacy. The block had been initially issued in response to an enforcement move by the Texas Department of State Health Services and its commissioner. Officials had declared via an update to a consumable hemp program webpage that products exceeding 0.3% of delta-9 THC as legal, but all other THC types, including any… Read more.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) doesn’t support legalizing marijuana or other currently illicit drugs, but he’s big mad over the prospect of the federal government advising Americans to drink less alcohol. During an interview with Newsmax on Wednesday, the senator said that federal officials “can kiss my ass” if they decide to reduce the recommended maximum consumption of alcohol to two drinks per week, as has recently been floated. “What is it with liberals and wanting to control every damn aspect… Read more.
Former Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) has entered the race to become the 2024 Republican presidential nominee. So what does his record on drug policy look like? Hurd, who also previously worked as a CIA agent, has opposed nearly all marijuana reform proposals that he had an opportunity to vote on during his time in Congress. That includes incremental measures like protecting banks that work with state-legal cannabis businesses, as well as comprehensive legislation to federally legalize marijuana. While he has… Read more.
Celebrities don't get arrested for marijuana like they used to. These days celeb weed busts mostly happen in states that have yet to legalize cannabis for adult or medical use. Case in point: Dallas Cowboys' troubled defensive lineman Sam Williams who on August 20 was charged with possession of a controlled substance (cannabis) and the unlawful carrying of a weapon in Frisco, TX. Texas is a fully prohibited state (only CBD is legal). It's unclear how the arrest went down, though it most likely was… Read more.
Activists in Lubbock, Texas have launched a campaign to join the growing number of cities across the Lone Star State that have locally decriminalized marijuana. The committee behind the initiative filed paperwork for the Freedom Act Lubbock ordinance with the city secretary this week, which gives them 60 days to collect about 4,800 valid signatures, which equates to about 25 percent of registered voters who participated in the last municipal election in May. If they’re successful, the measure will first… Read more.
The largest cannabis operator in Texas is leaning into beverages after acquiring 8th Wonder Brewery. The brewery taproom located in the heart of east downtown just turned over ownership to Bayou City Hemp Company. The announcement follows a series of successful collaborations to create non-alcoholic THC beverages. The U.S. cannabis market is expected to grow to more than $86 billion by 2030, which could have a significant impact on the city of Houston. It's the first of its kind. The… Read more.
Texas House-passed bills to decriminalize marijuana, facilitate expungements and allow chronic pain patients to access medical cannabis as an opioid alternative are officially dead for the year with Senate leadership refusing to bring up the measures for consideration ahead of Monday’s end of the legislative session. Advocates had held out hope that the Senate would be more amenable to the modest reforms this session than in the past, but Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), who presides over the chamber, continued… Read more.
Any bills still in committee on Wednesday will be dead in the water. The future of medical cannabis expansion in Texas remains uncertain, as the state’s legislative session is set to conclude this Memorial Day. Crucial legislation aiming to broaden access to low-THC medical cannabis products for chronic pain sufferers may face its demise if not passed by a Texas Senate committee by Wednesday – the last day the more-deliberative Senate can pass bills. House Bill 1805, introduced by Rep.… Read more.
With a week left in the Texas Legislature's current session, political observers said it's increasingly unlikely the state will see any progress on cannabis reform. Earlier this session, the Texas House passed a proposal to broaden the state's medical marijuana program — one of the strictest in the nation — by expanding it to include patients who would otherwise be prescribed opioids to manage pain. Additionally, the House approved a bill that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of weed and set up a process for… Read more.
Walk into a gas station or smoke shop and you’ll see them on the shelf, packaged in colorful boxes with flavors like fruity pebbles, magic mango and grape ape gusher. Like marijuana, these cannabis-based products deliver a high. But unlike marijuana, these products are legal in Texas, thanks to laws that allowed the cultivation of hemp. Strawberry flavored gummies are for sale in a smoke shop walking distance from Pascal High School. Sticky amber-colored oil for vaping with a pineapple scent sits… Read more.
The Texas House last week passed a cannabis decriminalization bill that would reduce penalties for possession of up to an ounce of flower or concentrates to a Class C misdemeanor, KXAN reports. Despite the reduced charge, however, possession penalties could still include a hefty $500 fine. Under current state law, such possession would be considered a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. Possession of four ounces or more is considered… Read more.
Marijuana is still an illegal substance in Texas. But with neighboring states offering recreational weed, many Texans are crossing state lines to taste the high life. In total, 21 states across the U.S. have legalized recreational marijuana use — Colorado and New Mexico among them. There are 37 states that allow medical use. Texas also offers medical marijuana use, but it’s extremely limited and heavily regulated. For Texans, what may be legal in New Mexico and Colorado is contraband in the Lone… Read more.
The Texas House of Representatives will vote on a bill to decriminalize marijuana possession and create a process for expunging cannabis conviction records next week. About a month and a half after the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee unanimously passed the legislation, the Calendars Committee has officially scheduled it for floor consideration on Wednesday, April 26. The measure from Rep. Joe Moody (D) would remove the risk of arrest or jail time for low-level possession of cannabis and allow people to eventually erase… Read more.
The Texas House on Tuesday passed a measure to expand the state’s medical cannabis program by increasing the THC levels allowed in cannabis products and adding chronic pain to the state’s qualifying conditions list, the Dallas Morning News reports. Under the proposal, THC levels in medical cannabis products sold in Texas would be raised to 10 milligrams per dosage unit – up from the current 1% limit. The bill would allow patients who would otherwise get an opioid prescription for pain to access… Read more.
A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas last week found the federal ban on cannabis consumers possessing firearms to be unconstitutional, Marijuana Moment reports. The ruling led to dropped charges against El Paso resident Paola Connelly, who had been convicted of possessing and transferring a firearm in 2021 while being an admitted cannabis consumer. The charges were ultimately dropped after the Supreme Court ruled last year that any restrictions on firearms must honor the historical context… Read more.
A study published last month by researchers at the University of North Texas Health Science Center and College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found one in 10 military veterans reported using cannabis over the past year. The study was published in the Substance Use & Misuse journal using data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2013-2019) comprised of 16,350 veterans 18-years-or-older. The researchers found that veterans aged 65-and-older were more likely to define their cannabis use as… Read more.
The Texas House Public Health Committee on Monday heard hearings on a bill that would expand the state’s medical cannabis program, FOX 44 reports. The measure would allow access to products with THC levels as high as 5%. Under current law, patients can only access low-THC products with THC concentrations up to 1%. The measure is, in part, meant to reign in the proliferation of hemp-derived THC products, such as delta-8, which some medical cannabis consumers are relying on because of the low THC limits in… Read more.
A majority of Texas voters say that the state’s marijuana laws should be “less strict,” according to a new survey. The University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll that was released this month asked respondents about a variety of policy issues affecting the state and how they believe certain matters should be regulated compared to the status quo. Asked about cannabis, 51 percent said that state laws should be less strict, versus 22 percent who said they should be more strict… Read more.
Adults 21 and over could possess up to 2.5 ounces of pot, including up to 15 grams of cannabis concentrates, under the bill. As Texas continues to lag behind the rest of the country in cannabis reform, a Democrat in the Texas House of Representatives has introduced a bill to let the state's municipalities and counties decide whether to legalize recreational weed. House Bill 1937, filed by State Rep. Jessica González of Dallas, would enable municipalities to make the call whether to green… Read more.