In 2019, Texas legalized hemp, but not marijuana. The new law led to confusion about which marijuana products are legal in Texas.
While support for legalizing marijuana remains high in polling, other cannabis-derived products like Delta 8 have emerged. Delta 8 is a psychoactive substance that is naturally produced in small amounts by cannabis plants.
The 2018 Farm Bill made it legal to make Delta 8 THC derived from a hemp plant, so this has caused some controversy about how to regulate this option and whether the states will recognize that bill and continue to let their residents have access to this type of legal THC product.
Is Delta 8 Legal in Texas?
Delta 8 is currently legal in Texas after Travis County judge temporarily blocked the state from classifying it as a controlled substance.
Under state law, hemp-derived Delta 8 with less than 0.3 percent THC is legal to buy and sell. Consumers can purchase, possess, and consume hemp-derived Delta 8 products without landing yourself in trouble with Texan law enforcement.
In 2020, the DEA issued an interim final rule addressing the Delta 8 legal status — believes it could be “synthetically-derived” and a controlled substance, making it federally illegal.
Texas Marijuana Laws vs. Other States
Nineteen states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana possession. In those states, marijuana use and possession is still regulated, but individuals are not criminally or civilly punished under state law.
As of May 2022, 10 states, including Texas, allow access to CBD products with low THC concentrations. Seventeen states allow higher THC concentration marijuana use for medical purposes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Three states — Idaho, Nebraska, and Kansas — have no public cannabis access program.
In 27 states and Washington, D.C., possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use has been decriminalized. Under many of these state laws, it is still illegal to use marijuana recreationally, but prosecutors do not press criminal charges. Instead, offenders face civil penalties, which usually include fines or drug education programs. However, in Texas, people arrested or cited for marijuana possession may still face legal penalties depending on the amount.
As of November 2022, 14 states have banned either Delta 8 specifically or all unregulated forms of THC.