Texas THC Lawyer

Ever since the Governor signed HB 1325 into law, prosecutors and law enforcement agencies throughout the state have be scrambling to address the fact that crime labs are not properly equipped to test hemp. Marijuana and hemp belong to the same plant family, cannabis sativa, and are virtually identical.  Under previous Texas law, it was a crime to possess any amount of THC, whether it came in the form of hemp or marijuana.  Under the new law, hemp products that contain .3% THC or less, and meet other requirements under HB 1325, are now legal.  

The problem is that crime labs throughout the State lack the proper testing instruments necessary to measure the percentage of THC in suspect marijuana seized by law enforcement. Confronted with this problem, some counties have declined to prosecute marijuana cases until such time as proper testing procedures can be put in place.  District attorneys in Harris, Tarrant, Bexar and Dallas counties have all announced changes to the way their offices will handle marijuana possession, with many counties opting to no longer prosecute for small amounts. 

Smith County District Attorney, Jacob Putman, announced today that his office will continue to prosecute these cases. Putman told area law enforcement officers during the monthly Smith County Peace Officers Association luncheon that the Department of Public Safety estimates it will take about 10 months to equip their laboratories with what they need to determine the THC content of samples. In the meantime, DA Putman announced that his office will continue to prosecute marijuana cases. He added that “Some larger counties say they can’t. I believe that I can, but we are going to have to wait for some of these labs to get up and running.” Although “samples must be sent to a lab for analysis, Putman is confident they will be able to do so within a year, which is under the statute of limitations of two years for marijuana possession charges.” It now remains to be seen how criminal defense lawyers will respond to this policy as it applies to pending marijuana cases in Smith County.