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Understanding Texas Marijuana Possession Penalties

The Collin County Law Group July 3, 2019

Although 33 states have legalized cannabis for medical use and several allow recreational use, Texas still prohibits possession of the plant for any reason. Individuals found with cannabis are subject to stringent penalties, which may include jail time.

If you or a family member receive charges for marijuana possession in Texas, these are the fines and other consequences you could face in court.

Cannabis Possession Penalties

Possession of fewer than 2 ounces of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor punishable with as many as 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. Those convicted also receive a six-month driver’s license suspension. If you have 2 to 4 ounces of cannabis at the time of arrest, you could face at least a year in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

Possession of more than 5 pounds of cannabis carries a mandatory minimum sentence in Texas of two years in jail. More than 2,000 pounds carries a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 99 years.

These penalties apply to dry cannabis flower only. Concentrates such as hash oil carry higher fines and extended jail time.

Circumstances Affecting Penalties

When determining penalties for marijuana possession, the judge will consider the circumstances of your case. In addition to the amount of cannabis on your person at the time of the arrest, contributing factors include the following:

  • Whether you have past drug or criminal convictions

  • Whether you are in possession of significant cash, paraphernalia such as scales or other items that signify intent to distribute cannabis

  • Whether packaging or concealment indicates intent to distribute

Drug Diversion Programs

First-time offenders in Texas may be able to avoid jail time by enrolling in a drug diversion program for education and substance use treatment. Availability depends on the county of arrest.