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Marijuana Charges

Marijuana Attorney – Brett A. Podolsky

Throughout the United States, marijuana is the most commonly used illegal substance. Many people mistakenly believe that marijuana charges are not taken seriously by the District Attorney because of the amount of people who use the drug. However, the District Attorney will aggressively prosecute marijuana charges, especially those charges dealing with manufacturing, distribution and trafficking.

The possession and sale of marijuana is illegal in Texas. The possession, sale, and manufacture of marijuana is regulated by state and federal law. Texas has not legalized marijuana in any concentration for recreational use and severely restricts the use of medical cannabis. Federal law classifies marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning it is considered to have a high potential for abuse and no generally recognized medical value. 

The Texas Controlled Substances Act lists marijuana as a Schedule I hallucinogenic substance. Texas also classified THC (the active compound in marijuana) into penalty group 2 for the purposes of criminal penalties. Sections 481.120 and 481.121 make the delivery and possession of marijuana a criminal offense.

However, Cannabis sativa with a THC concentration of no more than 0.3% is designated as hemp, and is legal to cultivate, transport, and sell but is subject to regulation.

Possessing or distributing marijuana in Texas is against the law and can result in serious penalties. Contact criminal defense attorney Brett Podolsky today and get the legal representation you need.

Types of Marijuana Charges

Marijuana may be at the center of several drug related charges. The most common types of marijuana charges are as follows:

Many different defenses exist for these crimes. An experienced marijuana charge attorney like Brett Podolsky will be able to effectively frame a defense and force the District Attorney to completely prove the case. People who have been convicted of marijuana related offenses may lose their jobs, educational opportunities and have the stigma of having been convicted of a drug offense. It is extremely important to contact Brett A. Podolsky immediately for him to get started on your drug charge defense.

Penalties for Marijuana Crimes

The penalty for various marijuana crimes depends on whether the issue is sale or delivery or simple possession. The law provides enhanced penalties for marijuana concentrates and lesser penalties for paraphernalia. Cultivation is treated the same as possession.

For example, the penalty for possession (or cultivation) of less than two ounces of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor punishable with 180 in jail and a $2,000 fine. The delivery of seven grams or less of marijuana carries the same penalty if the deliverer receives no remuneration. 

However, selling seven grams or less of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor punishable with up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine. Hashish and concentrates are not considered marijuana but carry penalties within the statutes, nonetheless. 

Possession, manufacture, or delivery of less than one gram of concentrate is a state jail felony. It comes with 180 days to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Penalties for Marijuana

Possession or Cultivation
< 2 oz.
  • Class B misdemeanor
  • 180 days in jail
  • $2,000 fine
2-4 oz.
  • Class A misdemeanor
  • 1 year in jail
  • $4,000 fine
4 oz – 5 lbs.
  • State jail felony
  • 180 days to 2 years in jail
  • $10,000 fine
5-50 lbs.
  • Third-degree felony
  • 2-10 years in prison*
  • $10,000 fine
50-2,000 lbs.
  • Second-degree felony
  • 2-20 years in prison*
  • $10,000 fine
> 2,000 lbs.
  • First-degree felony
  • 5-99 years in prison*
  • $50,000 fine
Sale or Delivery
7g or less with no remuneration
  • Class B misdemeanor
  • 180 days in jail
  • $2,000 fine
7g or less for sale
  • Class A misdemeanor
  • 1 year in jail
  • $4,000 fine
7g – 5 lbs.
  • State jail felony
  • 180 days to 2 years in jail*
  • $10,000 fine
5-50 lbs.
  • Second-degree felony
  • 2-20 years in prison*
  • $10,000 fine
50-2,000 lbs.
  • First-degree felony
  • 5-99 years in prison*
  • $10,000 fine
> 2,000 lbs.
  • First-degree felony
  • 10-99 years in prison*
  • $100,000 fine
Selling to a minor
  • Second-degree felony
  • 2-20 years in prison*
  • $10,000 fine

*Subject to mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines.

Penalties for Hashish and Concentrates

Possession
< 1g
  • State jail felony
  • 180 days to 2 years in jail
  • $10,000 fine
1-4g
  • Third-degree felony
  • 2-10 years in prison
  • $10,000 fine
4-400g
  • Second-degree felony
  • 2-20 years in prison
  • $10,000 fine
> 400g
  • First-degree felony
  • 10 years to life in prison
  • $10,000 fine
Manufacture or Delivery
< 1g
  • State jail felony
  • 180 days to 2 years in jail
  • $10,000 fine
1-4g
  • Second-degree felony
  • 2-20 years in prison
  • $10,000 fine
4-400g
  • First-degree felony
  • 5-99 years in prison
  • $10,000 fine
> 400g
  • First-degree felony
  • 10 years to life in prison
  • $10,000 fine
Sale to a minor or person enrolled in primary or secondary education
  • Felony
  • 2-20 years in prison
  • $10,000 fine

 

Penalties for Paraphernalia

Possession, manufacture, sale, or use, or possession with intent to do so
  • Class C misdemeanor
  • No jail time
  • $500 fine
Sale of (first offense)
  • Class A misdemeanor
  • 1 year in jail
  • $4,000 fine
Sale of (subsequent offense)
  • Felony
  • 90 days to 1 year in jail*
  • $4,000 fine
Sale to a minor
  • Felony
  • 180 days to 2 years in jail*
  • $10,000 fine

*Subject to mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines.

 

Miscellaneous
Falsifying a drug test or possessing with intent to use any material for the falsification of a drug test
  • Class B misdemeanor
  • 180 days in jail
  • $2,000 fine

 

Your driver’s license is automatically suspended upon the final conviction of a drug offense. 

If the offense occurred within 1,000 feet of a school, youth center, or playground, or within 300 feet of a public swimming pool or video arcade, the degree of offense is increased by one level.

If the perpetrator of the offense involved a minor under 18 years of age, the degree of offense is increased by one level.

For someone who has been charged with a very small amount of marijuana and has no criminal history, it may be possible for the judge to sentence a defendant to only probation. However, this situation is very case specific and should be thoroughly discussed with a criminal defense attorney such as Brett A. Podolsky. An experienced attorney will be able to explain the possible outcomes for a case.

Medical Cannabis

As of September 1, 2021, a law (HB 1535) took effect that expands access to low-THC medical cannabis. Low-THC is defined as 1% concentration. 

The maximum allowable amount of THC was doubled from 0.5% to 1.0%. Its use is now part of the state’s compassionate use program. And the law makes all forms of cancer (not just terminal cancer) eligible for the program.

The law also expands medical cannabis use for PTSD. Initially, only veterans diagnosed with PTSD were eligible for use. Now, with support from those veterans, everyone diagnosed with PTSD is eligible. 

The law makes people with the following conditions eligible for medical cannabis:

Keep in mind – Texas still has one of the most restrictive medical cannabis programs in the country.

2019 Hemp Update

The Texas Department of Agriculture is responsible for administering the cultivation of industrial hemp in the state. Hemp is defined as Cannabis sativa with a THC concentration of not more than 0.3% based on a dry weight analysis. It is illegal to possess any substance other than hemp that contains any amount of THC, including gummies, wax, and vape pen cartridges. 

The 2019 Farm Bill requires the state to develop a plan to monitor and regulate industrial hemp production. It also places statutory requirements on the cultivation of hemp, including licensing and testing. 

Interim Rules 

On October 28, 2019, the US Department of Agriculture approved interim rules for the federal industrial hemp program, including procedures for approving state industrial hemp plans. 

The Texas Department of Agriculture submitted a plan for monitoring and regulating hemp cultivation, transportation, and use to the USDA on December 2, 2019, and it was approved in January of 2020. 

The Texas Department of Agriculture adopted rules spelled out in the Texas Administrative Code Title 4 Part 1 Chapter 24 about hemp program administration on March 11, 2020. 

On August 2, 2020, the state Department of Health issued rules regarding the manufacture, distribution, and sale of consumable hemp as published in the Texas Administrative Code Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 300.

Rules banning smokable hemp are blocked temporarily while a lawsuit challenging them is underway.

Selling Hemp-Based Products

The bill requires retail stores planning to sell CBD products to register with the State Health Department. Also, Texas stores may sell hemp products like CBD oil as long as the products contain less than 0.3% THC. 

Transporting Hemp

As of Fall 2019, anyone transporting hemp within the State of Texas must possess a hemp certificate from the state. Failure to do so is a criminal offense. Unfortunately, the state has yet to issue such certificates. The possession of a forged certificate is a felony. To transport hemp, you must apply for a transport manifest from the Texas Industrial Hemp Program.

Cultivating Hemp

The Texas Department of Agriculture published a list of hemp varieties approved for cultivation.

How Can Brett A. Podolsky Help?

With so many complicated marijuana laws, it’s important to have a knowledgable lawyer on your side. The Law Office of Brett A. Podolsky is an experienced and trusted law firm which can help people who have been accused of marijuana related crimes. Attorney Podolsky has handled numerous cases involving marijuana and is extremely knowledgeable in this area. He can effectively evaluate a person’s case and craft a defense to achieve the best possible outcome for that case.

Contact Brett A. Podolsky at 713-227-0087 to schedule a free consultation.

Discuss your case

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