In: Criminal Defense, Drug Crimes

Is It Illegal to Use Hash Oils or Other Marijuana Concentrates in Texas?

In recent years some states have liberalized their laws regarding marijuana and its active ingredient, which is known by the abbreviation THC. For example, just to the north of Texas in Colorado, it is now legal to possess marijuana and THC in many forms, including cannabis oils (aka “hash oils”) that can be smoked using a special “vape pen” and even edibles such as pot brownies of gummies. These products often contain a significantly higher concentration of THC than traditional marijuana joints.

But beware. Texas is not a state known for its favorable attitudes towards marijuana and THC. To the contrary, you can actually face significantly higher criminal penalties for a pot brownie or gummies, known as edibles, than a bag of weed. For example, a Texas teenager made national headlines in 2014 when prosecutors threatened him with life in prison for allegedly possessing 1.5 pounds of pot brownies. He eventually pleaded guilty to a second-degree felony and received a sentence of seven years probation.

Life in Prison for Pot Brownies?

You might wonder why pot brownies would merit a felony charge in the first place. After all, possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor in Texas, where the maximum jail term is only about six months. The problem is that THC “concentrates” such as hash oil or edibles are classified differently. Indeed, possessing less than 1 gram of either is a state jail felony in Texas punishable by up to 2 years in prison.

In the case of the teenager caught with pot brownies, he was initially charged with a first-degree felony because he possessed more than 400 grams of THC concentrate. Actually, there was only about 2.5 grams of hash oil in the brownies, which normally would have made it only a third-degree felony. But prosecutors based the charge on the total weight of the brownies, not the amount of concentrate.

It should be noted that in 2015, the Texas legislature did legalize possession of small amounts of low-THC cannabis oils to patients suffering from epilepsy. But keep in mind, this only permits individuals with a doctor’s prescription to obtain cannabis oils from state-approved dispensaries. You cannot buy hash oils on your own and then tell the cops it is because you have epilepsy.

Likewise, if you have purchased hash oils, pot brownies, et al., in a state like Colorado where it is legal, you cannot under any circumstances bring such items back with you to Texas. You will be prosecuted for a felony just as if you had acquired such items in Texas. There is no legal right to possess THC-containing products anywhere in the state.

Have You Been Charged With Possession of THC Concentrates?

It may seem unfair, but there is no escaping Texas law when it comes to THC concentrates. If you have been arrested and charged with concentrate possession, you are in serious trouble. An experienced Denton County drug crimes defense lawyer can help. Contact Brent D. Bowen, Attorney at Law, if you need to speak with someone about your case right away.

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