Texas: HB 2593 – Penalty Reduction for Cannabis Concentrates


Final Status: After passing with bipartisan support in the House and Senate, a confernece committee was established to reconcile differences in the bill. Namely, they had to remove a hostile amendment that was hastily added in the Senate. The amendment was removed, the HB 2593 Conference Committee Report (PDF) was signed by all conferees, and the report was approved by the Texas House. However, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick refused to allow a vote on the report, effectively killing HB 2593.

This issue is too important to give up, so lawmakers and state leadership can expect us back again in 2023 when the legislature convenes again.

Background

Currently, any amount of concentrated THC or cannabis infused product carries an automatic FELONY charge, compounding the already significant collateral consequences of a marijuana conviction.

As passed by the House and Senate State Affairs Committee, HB 2593 garnered broad support, including favorable testimony from Staley Heatley, District Attorney in Vernon, Texas, and numerous advocacy organizations. 

Introduced by Speaker Pro Tem Joe Moody and Sponsored by Sen. Nathan Johnson, HB 2593 (as filed) would reduce the penalty for possession of cannabis concentrates and infused products (<2oz.) from a felony to a Class B Misdemeanor (same as current penalties for marijuana flower). This bill would cover cannabis oils used in vape pens, tinctures, or infused lotions. Edible products like baked goods or lozenges are also included in this penalty group.

Senate Amendment: Banning Hemp Derived Delta-8 THC

UPDATE: This amendment has been removed from HB 2593!
(I’ve left this information on the page for historical reference.)

Driven by the Lt. Governor and Sen. Charles Perry, we were blindsided by an amendment on the Senate floor that seeks to ban Delta-8 products in Texas. The amendment sets the total THC for hemp and its products at 0.3 percent, including hemp derived Delta-8.

Hastily added to the bill, the amendment was not germane and had to be removed by the HB 2593 Conference Committee.

The legality of delta-8 THC products has been called into question after testimony from the Department of State Health Services during the hemp hearing. Here’s a memo published by the Commissioner John Hellerstedt, M.D. in January. More information here.

Here’s a video of the Senate debate (and delta-8 amendment) for HB 2593. And for reference, here’s a video of the Senate committee hearing on the hemp bill (HB 3948), which largely focuses on Delta-8.


In advance of a hearing by the Senate State Affairs Committee on May 17th, Rep. Moody published the following message to advocates:

“I’m excited for the historic progress this movement has led to!”

“I really appreciate all of your support. Thank you for trusting me to shepherd this important legislation. The finish line is in sight.”

Please consider making a donation toward our work to reform marijuana laws in Texas. Thank you for your support!

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