All You Need to Know About Medical Marijuana in Texas

Let's take a closer look at how to safely navigate the cannabis scene in Texas.

November 7, 2023

Not long ago, two simple words needlessly triggered fear, skepticism, and divisive arguments across the country: Medical Marijuana! Now our understanding and acceptance of cannabis have grown hand in hand, and most states have legalized it in some form. Many Texans don’t even know it themselves, but medical marijuana is legal right here in our great state! In fact, over 50,000 patients are registered in the medical cannabis program in Texas. And those patients can find quality cannabis products at goodblend locations in San Antonio, South Austin, and more. But slow your roll before strolling into a dispensary! Cannabis laws in Texas are still pretty tight, sometimes surprising, and often changing. Let's take a closer look at how to safely navigate the cannabis scene in Texas.

The History of Cannabis Legality in Texas

In 1931, cannabis possession could earn you a life sentence in prison, even for holding the tiniest nug. It wasn't until 1973 that the sentence was drastically reduced for possession of under two ounces. But in 2015, Texas passed the Compassionate Use Act, allowing the use of low-THC cannabis oil to treat some conditions. Then in early 2023 the Texas house passed bills reducing penalties for possession (HB 218) and expanding covered medical conditions for cannabis (HB 1805).  

As of this writing, the bill still needs to pass the senate and be signed into law. So, what is the current legal status of medical marijuana in Texas?

Who Can Use? Qualifying Conditions for Cannabis

Through the Texas Compassionate Use Program (TCUP), medical use of low-THC cannabis products are legal for qualifying patients. Texas defines “low-THC cannabis” as containing “less than one percent by weight of THC”. Low-THC cannabis can be legally consumed for medical use in Texas through any means except smoking. Currently these cannabis products can be used to treat patients with the following conditions:

The TCUP allows a board-certified physician to prescribe medical marijuana to patients diagnosed with one of these qualifying conditions.

What’s the Tea on TCUP? Rules for Legal Cannabis in Texas

As usual, things are a bit different here in Texas than other states, especially when it comes to legal medical cannabis. There are some key differences with the TCUP program that are important to know:

  1. No Medical Cards: Texans don’t need a medical marijuana card to participate. TCUP simply requires a prescription from a registered physician. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) regulates this information, so law enforcement can identify legal TCUP patients.
  2. Dose restriction: TCUP still says THC levels must be less than 1% by weight. It’s important to know how many doses are in a product, so talk to your doctor about a recommended medical marijuana treatment plan.
  3. No Smoking: Smokable cannabis flower is still illegal in Texas. No one can buy, grow, or smoke cannabis flower legally under any circumstances. This means that at goodblend, we make sure to have quality alternatives to smokeable flower, including edibles, tinctures, and topicals.

One big Texas-sized question that always comes up when talking about medical marijuana in Texas is Can you own a gun when registered with TCUP? The answer, my Lone Star friends, is a simple yes.

There are always major changes in the works for Texas cannabis laws and regulations, so be sure to talk to your doctor and read local ordinances to ensure you’re staying safe in the Texas cannabis scene!

Where to Begin? Getting Approved for Medical Cannabis

Now that we better understand the rules and regulations around medical marijuana, how can you get your cannabis treatment started in Texas? Three simple steps:

  1. Texans only: Only permanent residents of Texas can be treated with medical cannabis.
  2. What’s Up Doc: A licensed physician must evaluate you for qualifying conditions.  You can search the Compassionate User Registry of Texas (CURT) to find a doctor in your area.
  3. Be CURT: Your doctor will write you a prescription and register you with CURT. Remember that Texas has no medical marijuana “cards”. If you’re in the CURT registry, dispensaries can check to make sure you have an active prescription. Same goes for law enforcement – in the off chance they need to look you up, you’re all set.

There are only three licensed medical marijuana dispensary groups in Texas. You can check the goodblend dispensary locator to find a convenient location in places like San Antonio, South Austin, Fort Worth, Witchita Falls, and Plano. At all dispensaries, you will need a valid government issued ID and to be a patient with a valid prescription in the CURT registry.

What to Try? Medical Cannabis Products

You can find a variety of products at goodblend that can help out with a whole list of conditions. Your physician can help point you in the right direction when it comes to different types of cannabis and how they target particular ailments. Edibles and beverages come on slowly and last for hours. Sublingual tinctures are absorbed more quickly and can deliver long-lasting results. Topicals are more targeted and rarely have psychoactive effects.  Each person has their own needs and reacts differently to various doses, so remember to start low and see what works best for you.

You can browse our website or download our app to explore the entire product lineup. And we recommend calling to place your first order at (512) 351-4600 so a team member can assist you with any questions or concerns you may have.

But one option will probably pop up for you that you really don’t want to try: delta-8. Let’s talk about why delta-8 isn’t a great choice.

Delta-8: It Ain’t So Great

Just what the heck is delta-8 and why is it everywhere? Ok deep breath: The THC compound you usually hear about is actually delta-9 THC. In 2018, the US government passed a bill specifically defining the type of THC under legal scrutiny as delta-9. But there’s another compound in hemp plants called delta-8 THC that is chemically almost identical to delta-9. It is a weaker compound and only exists in trace amounts in legal hemp plants, but it can have similar, albeit lesser, effects on people when consumed. Because of the legal wording, a loophole allows delta-8 THC to be sold legally.

Less powerful, readily available, and technically legal... sounds great, right? Well, not so fast. There are a few major red flags around delta-8 cannabis:

  1. Wildly Unregulated: The same loophole freeing up delta-8 allows it to be sold totally untested. Dispensaries are unlicensed, products have no guarantee of effectiveness or safety, and unregulated hemp and cannabis plants could have unknown pesticides, mold, or even dangerous heavy metals.
  2. Not So Refined: Most delta-8 products are refined and synthesized from CBD, also derived from the hemp plant. This refining process is unregulated and untested, so some medical professionals are concerned that dangerous contaminants may find their way into delta-8 products.
  3. FDA Disapproved: The FDA has even warned directly against delta-8 products due to potential risks, after receiving reports adverse effects including hallucinations, vomiting, tremors, and loss of consciousness. Doesn’t sound fun!

In contrast, legal medical cannabis – like what you find in the products sold at goodblend – is highly regulated, aggressively tested, and won’t contain unknown or dangerous chemicals or heavy metals.  

TL;DR: Can I Use Cannabis in Texas or What?

While the history, the laws, and the process of getting cannabis can be complicated, the long and short of it is that yes, medical marijuana is legal in Texas. You just have to have a qualifying condition and get a prescription from a doctor. Smokeable cannabis is illegal throughout Texas, though, so look for edibles, tinctures, and topicals. And always find licensed, legal, medical cannabis by shopping at a registered dispensary like goodblend!

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IMPORTANT: All information contained on this website is for educational purposes only. None of this information should be construed as medical or treatment advice for any specific person or condition. Cannabis has not been analyzed or approved by the FDA, and there is limited information on the side effects of using cannabis as a medication. You should always consult a licensed physician in all matters related to your health.