R. Todd Bennett, P.C.
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Texas set to open first medical marijuana dispensaries in 2018

Three companies are making preparations to open the first medical marijuana dispensaries in Texas as soon as 2018. One company, Cansortium Texas, is already working with Knox Medical on growing a marijuana crop only a short drive west on I-10 from Katy, in nearby Schulenburg.

In 2015, Governor Gregg Abbott signed the Compassionate Use Act into place in order to allow dispensaries to obtain licenses and sell medical marijuana to Texas residents that have a rare form of intractable epilepsy. The state only intends to issue enough dispensary licenses so that medical marijuana is reasonably available to people across the state who are suffering from this rare and severe form of epilepsy. Furthermore, the Texas dispensaries will only be able to provide these patients with cannabidiol, which is a low-THC cannabis.

Since the medical marijuana dispensaries only have approval to sell cannabidiol, they will not be operating as storefronts. Instead, the law requires that these dispensaries operate strictly as hubs to ensure that the cannabidiol makes it into the hands of the patients and doctors that need it.

Even though this low-THC medical marijuana will soon be readily available for patients suffering from intractable epilepsy, marijuana is still illegal in Texas. This means that if a Katy police officer finds you in possession of pot, you could be facing some heavy fines and even jail time, depending on the quantity.

While the state views any amount under two ounces as a Class B misdemeanor and amount between two and four ounces as a Class A misdemeanor, you could be facing felony charges for anything over four ounces. If the state charges you with selling just seven grams of marijuana, you could spend up to 180 days in jail and a maximum of $2,000 in fines. For selling any amount, even under seven grams, to a minor, you could be looking at a felony charge and prison sentence of up to 20 years.

Unlike a few other states that have taken steps to decriminalize marijuana use and possession, Texas still has very harsh penalties in place. If the court has charged you with possession of marijuana, you should remember that you still have the right to fight back against the charges.

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