Texas has had a strained relationship with cannabis, to say the least. Since 1931 marijuana has been illegal in the state of Texas and up until 1973, it also had the harshest punishments for possession of any amount. The 2000s have seen a drastic change in the way the state views cannabis and with House Bill 2165, Texans could even see marijuana legalized for recreational use.
Texas and Marijuana in The 2000s
Lifelong Texans might remember a time where marijuana legalization was something that wasn’t even in the realm of possibilities. In 2007, this changed with the passage of House Bill 2391. HB 2391 would allow police to “cite and release” for certain misdemeanor crimes including possession of up to 4 ounces of marijuana. Before the bill was passed, officers were obligated to immediately arrest anyone breaking these laws.
2015 saw the introduction of two bills. The first was HB 2165 introduced by Republican Representative David Simpson which would have made recreational marijuana legal. Unfortunately, while the bill did have support from the likes of the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee, it didn’t end up making it to the House floor for a vote.
The second was Senate Bill 339 - the Texas Compassionate Use Act - which allowed the use of low Delta 9 THC cannabis oil (<0.5%) for the treatment of epilepsy. The bill passed the Texas Senate with a 26-5 vote and Texas House with a 96-34 vote and was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbot in June.
Side note: It’s interesting that this bill was essentially made moot with the passage of Texas House Bill 1325 which allowed for the cultivation and consumption of cannabis with Delta 9 THC under 0.3% without a prescription.
Where Does House Bill 2165 Stand Today?
As it stands right now, House Bill 2165 is essentially dead in its current form. before becoming law in texas, house bill 2165 will have to be revived by a state House member and reintroduced to the Texas House of Representatives.
However, House Bill 2165 isn’t Texan’s last hope for getting recreational marijuana in the state. In 2020, State Senator Roland Gutierrez and Representative Joe Moody have introduced bills that would make marijuana legal in the state for anyone over the age of 21.
Texas Senate Bill 140 and House Bill 447
Senate Bill 140 and House Bill 447 would legalize the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and 15 grams of Delta 9 THC concentrates. The bills would also allow any private citizen to have up to 12 cannabis plants in their residents for personal consumption.
Texas’ House and Senate convene every two years and are scheduled to meet in 2021. While Senate Bill 140 and House Bill 447 face fierce opposition from other state lawmakers, there is still a chance Texans could see recreational marijuana as soon as 2021. The passage of these bills has the potential to generate billions of dollars for the state, so it’s going to be hard to pass up.
Recreational Marijuana in Texas
Texas might be behind other states when it comes to its regulations around marijuana but it looks like things are taking a turn in the state. In just a span of 5 years, marijuana has gone from immediate arrest with criminal convictions, to compassionate use and hemp being grown on Texas soil.
It’s not too far fetched to think that we could see the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state very soon. If not in 2021, then 2023 or 2025. If you’d like to see this, make sure to contact your representatives and let them know to support SB 140 and HB 447.
While products with over .3% Delta 9 THC are illegal in Texas, HB 1325 has allowed for the sale of cannabis products throughout the state. If you’re interested in getting legal cannabis products in Texas, make sure to checkout Hometown Hero’s CBD flower and Delta 8 THC products. We've won awards from High Times Hemp Cup in 2020 with our CBD blunts and flower.