There has been, and is, much confusion in Texas about cannabidiol (CBD) oil. Below, answers to some commonly asked questions about CBD oil and Texas.

Is CBD oil legal to possess and consume in Texas?

Not for most Texans. I suspect most people assume CBD oil is legal because it seems to be sold everywhere now in North Texas. However, CBD oil under Texas law is not legal for the vast majority of Texans.

What?! Who is it legal for then?

CBD oil is legal to possess only if it has been prescribed by a doctor. CBD oil can only be prescribed by a doctor to treat someone with intractable epilepsy (defined under Texas law as “a seizure disorder in which the patient ’s seizures have been treated by two or more appropriately chosen and maximally titrated antiepileptic drugs that have failed to control the seizures.”) There are then a host of other legal hurdles to clear before a doctor can write a prescription for CBD oil. For example, even if CBD oil has been prescribed by a doctor to a patient with intractable epilepsy, and the doctor has completed the registration requirements under Section 169.004 of the Texas Occupations Code, the patient can only obtain CBD oil from a licensed dispensing organization. To my knowledge, there are, at present, a grand total of three such organizations in the entire state.

How would a cop know if I had a prescription for CBD oil or not?

Because a doctor who legally prescribes CBD oil to a patient is required to register with the State the following information about the patient: (1) the physician ’s name;(2) the patient ’s name and date of birth; (3) the dosage prescribed to the patient;(4) the means of administration ordered for the patient; and (5) the total amount of low-THC cannabis required to fill the patient ’s prescription.

Okay, give me more bad news…

Even if all the above requirements are met, only “low-THC” CBD oil can legally be prescribed. “Low THC” is defined under Texas law as “not more than 0.5 percent by weight of tetrahydrocannabinols (THC); and (B) not less than 10 percent by weight of cannabidiol.” This is not even close to enough to produce any sort of “high” (dabs/wax is typically upwards of 70% THC, and regular dirt weed is generally upwards of 15% THC.)

If what you say is true, then why is CBD oil for sale in shops all over North Texas?

I have no idea. It reminds me a bit of the K-2/Synthetic Marijuana situation we had years ago, where synthetic weed and K-2 were sold everywhere, mass confusion ensued, and the legislature cleared up the confusion really quickly by passing a broad, catch-all law to prohibit synthetic substances.

For CBD oil, I would bet the other shoe drops any day now, and police raids begin. The fact is, raids have begun in Tarrant County. I am not aware of any in Denton yet, but, in my view, it’s a matter of time.

Will I get arrested for possessing CBD oil in Texas?

You could be. CBD oil contains some amount of THC (see above.) THC is illegal under Texas law, and in liquid (oil) form, it’s a felony. So, if you don’t have a prescription for CBD oil and possess it, you could be arrested for a felony. That is the current state of the law in Texas.

Tarrant County has explicitly stated it will prosecute possession of CBD oil.

The Denton County District Attorney’s office told NBC 5 “given the current state of the law” it “is currently not pursuing CBD-only cases.”

Dallas County has said it will not aggressively prosecute, and will act on a case by case basis.

That is confusing. How can anyone expect me to keep up with which counties care and which do not?!

I agree; this a real mess, and the variations from county to county as to whether they intend to prosecute possession of CBD oil only add to the confusion.

So, you’re saying I can possess CBD oil in Denton County, right?

Nope. I am saying CBD oil is currently illegal to possess under Texas law, with the exception of patients with a valid prescription from a doctor. Denton County, currently, has taken the position it will not prosecute “CBD oil only” cases. That can change.

I heard that (insert rumor about legalization of marijuana/CBD oil/etc.); is that true?

Likely not. Rumors like these seem to spring up every April (and particularly on 4-20). If you have a question about something you have heard, call a lawyer and ask.