Category: Hemp Legality Texas

How to Open a Dispensary in Texas

Although recreational marijuana has not yet been legalized in Texas, Texas currently has a limited medical marijuana program established by the Texas Compassionate Use Act in 2015. The Texas Department of Safety (“DPS”) administers the Compassionate Use Program (“CUP”), including all licensing processes for dispensing organizations. In early 2023, DPS opened the full application process for dispensing organization licenses for the first time since licenses were initially awarded in 2017. The application window closed on April 28, 2023. Currently, only three dispensing organizations have been granted licenses by DPS to cultivate, process, and dispense low-THC cannabis to qualifying patients in Texas: Compassionate Cultivation, Fluent, and Surterra Texas. An announcement on the award of new licenses has not yet been made, and DPS has not confirmed how many licenses it expects to award. Pursuant to the Compassionate Use Act, DPS may only issue the number of licenses necessary to ensure reasonable statewide access to and availability of low-THC cannabis for patients registered in the compassionate-use registry.

Texas is a vertically integrated state, meaning that all dispensing organizations must cultivate, process, package, and dispense the medical marijuana from a single location. Currently, only low-THC cannabis is approved for dispensation under CUP, currently limited to 1% THC by dry weight. The program also has restrictions regarding qualifying conditions and does not include certain conditions, such as chronic pain. Applicants must also follow all other administrative and statutory rules of the Texas Administrative Code (“TAC”) Chapter 12, and Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 487.

All applicants must pay a non-refundable application fee of $7,356.00 dollars. If approved, licensed dispensing organizations must pay a new licensing fee of $488,520.00 for a two (2) year period. A biennial renewal license costs $318,511.00. Dispensing organizations must also pay fees per employee to register them with DPS. Entry costs for Texas are very high compared to other states.

DSHS Moves to Ban White Labeling of Smokable Hemp Products in Texas

On June 24, 2022, the Texas Supreme Court upheld Health and Safety Code, Section 443.204 (4), which prohibits the processing and manufacturing of consumable hemp products for smoking in Texas. However, the Court upheld our challenge to the state’s retail and distribution rule, meaning that the retail sale and distribution of consumable hemp products for smoking remains legal in the state. Read on to learn more about the latest update on Texas’ Consumable Hemp Program from the Texas Department of State Health Services (“DSHS”) and how it will impact the Texas hemp industry.

Texas Compassionate Use Program: DPS Now Accepting Applications for Dispensing Organization Licenses

In 2015, the Texas Legislature enacted the Texas Compassionate Use Act, Senate Bill 339. Under TCUP’s regulatory regime, the Texas Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) would create a secure registry for licensed physicians to prescribe low tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) to patients suffering from a limited list of medical conditions, including ALS and intractable epilepsy.

Since establishing the Texas Compassionate Use Program (“TCUP”), DPS has issued licenses to only three dispensing organizations to dispense low-THC cannabis to registered TCUP patients. Currently, only two are operational in the state of Texas. Recently, DPS’  Regulatory Services Division announced that department officials are now accepting new applications for dispensing organization licenses. Read below to learn more about the TCUP and the licensing application process. 

6 Key Considerations When Expanding into New Cannabis Markets

The cannabis industry has substantially grown in response to significant developments in legalization. As a result, multi-state operators (“MSOs”) and budding entrepreneurs nationwide are entering prospective state cannabis markets. Given the legal intricacies surrounding the cannabis industry, there is much to consider before jumping into starting a cannabis-related business.

Starting a Side Hustle as a Sole Proprietorship in Texas

A sole proprietorship is an entrepreneur’s simplest business structure in Texas. While there are benefits to consider in the strengthened protection of a limited liability company or a corporation, people starting “side-hustles” often begin with a sole proprietorship. This simple method allows the new business owner to dip their feet into the pool. Some–through inertia or strategy–may simply continue the structure as the business grows. 

The sole proprietorship initiation process lacks the layers of legal requirements standard in other business structures, but it does involve several steps that business owners should follow. A local law firm, like Ritter Spencer Cheng, can help new entrepreneurs successfully start a sole proprietorship in Texas. Read below to learn how to take the first step in your sole proprietorship. 

Are Hybrid Marijuana Strains Legal?

As hybrid marijuana strains become more prevalent throughout the cannabis community, it’s important to discuss the anatomy, use, and legality of the most common strains. Though many are familiar with the two marijuana strains, Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica, it’s crucial to recognize the role of hybrids as well. Read below for a full assessment of the structure and legal status of hybrid marijuana strains in the cannabis industry.

Conditional Adult Use Licenses and Dispensaries: Everything You Need to Know

As the cannabis business expands across the nation, many states have set unique regulations concerning dispensaries, licenses, production, and manufacturing. The concept of conditional adult-use dispensaries has garnered the attention of those in the marijuana community, specifically after the Cannabis Control Board of New York drafted the application process for conditional adult-use retail license applications. 

Traditional retail licenses can be confusing for those interested in pursuing marijuana entrepreneurship, let alone conditional adult-use dispensaries and permits. At Ritter Spencer Cheng, we recognize the importance of being familiar with emerging trends within the marijuana industry. Read below to learn more about conditional use dispensaries.

The Evolution of the Texas Compassionate Use Program

In 2015, the Texas Legislature enacted the Texas Compassionate Use Act, Senate Bill 339, establishing the Texas Compassionate Use Program (TCUP). Under TCUP, the Texas Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) would create a secure registry for licensed physicians to prescribe low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) medical marijuana to patients suffering from intractable epilepsy. 

The registry, known as the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (“CURT”), prevents more than one qualified physician from registering as the prescriber for a single patient, verifies patients of low-THC cannabis for dispensing organizations, and allows physicians to input safety and efficacy data derived from their patients who have been prescribed low-THC cannabis. 

Since its establishment, the Texas Compassionate Use Program (“TCUP”) has vastly expanded, with significant developments in 2019 and 2021.

Amended Texas Hemp & Medical Cannabis Laws Effective September 1, 2021

On September 1, 2021, numerous new or amended laws became effective in Texas. Our focus today is on two amended laws affecting the Texas hemp and medical cannabis industries.