In June 2019, the Texas legislature legalized hemp and hemp-derived products, such as CBD oil, paving the way for the growing CBD industry in Texas. Based on the new law, CBD oils with less than .03% of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, are categorized as hemp and are therefore legal. Despite the legalization of hemp, however, many individuals face prosecution for possessing THC even when within the legal limit. This is because law enforcement officials don’t have the necessary tools to differentiate between hemp and marijuana.
When law enforcement officials discover an individual in possession of CBD oil, they use field tests to identify whether THC is present in the substance. What these field tests cannot determine, however, is the concentration of THC in the sample. To test its potency, the substance must be sent to a laboratory that is capable of determining the concentration of THC. Such crime labs are nearly non-existent in Texas right now, resulting in a 9- to 12-month delay at the laboratories that are equipped to test THC concentration.
Due to the state’s limited laboratories, officials might handle CBD cases as they would handle any narcotics investigation. This means that individuals carrying CBD could be prosecuted with a third-degree felony and face the full consequences that come with it, such as jail time, costly fines, and loss of employment. Even if law enforcement is willing to wait for the proper tests to be conducted, individuals may find that their CBD oil had a THC concentration above the legal limit. In such cases, you may be entitled to sue the CBD company for false advertising if they claimed their product contained less than .03% or no THC.
If you’ve been busted for possessing CBD oil you believe contained a legal amount of THC, contact the Patrick Toscano Law Firm online or by phone at 210-951-0696.