The Big Three and AG: Official Statement on Prosecuting for Hemp Possession
Yesterday, the Governor, Lt Governor,
Speaker of the House and Attorney General issued a joint letter regarding the
prosecution for possession of marijuana and hemp. The letter directly addresses
Texas District and County Attorneys who have recently
dismissed marijuana possession cases and/or announced that they will not
prosecute misdemeanor marijuana possession cases without a lab test. In the
letter, they claim that “these actions demonstrate a misunderstanding of how H.B.
1325 works.” They go on to lay out the differences in the definition for
hemp and marijuana and the new regulation that are being enacted to legally
grow hemp products in Texas.
The letter says that
all marijuana laws are still on the books and enforceable. They go on to layout
a new charge that DAs can use to penalize people in Texas for possession of
person is transporting hemp but has no certificate, you may now prosecute that
person for the offense of failing to have a hemp certificate. This certificate
is required of any person transporting hemp plant material in Texas. If they
have a certificate, which the Department has yet to promulgate, then it’s a fake—which
is a felony.”
They warn that Texans “may continue to be prosecuted for possession of marijuana and
may now be prosecuted for illegal possession of hemp without a proper
It is of note that
they did not address the issue of interstate commerce, which was explicitly
outlined in the
2018 Farm Bill. The 2018 Farm Bill explicitly dictates that states may not
interfere with the transportation or shipment of industrial hemp.
We will continue to follow this story and keep you updated as it develops. It is imperative that Texans be up to date on what the laws are and the conversations surrounding them. Read the full letter here.