The Law Office of Barry Green
Providing defense for felony and misdemeanor cases in Wise County, Texas

You bought Marijuana Edibles/Wax in a state where it is legal and now they tell you it's a felony?

It's true, but don't worry, this might work out after all.

Texas has a bizarre quirk in its marijuana laws. For possession of weed, the vast majority of cases in Texas are filed as misdemeanors. Legally, anything under four ounces is a misdemeanor, and four ounces is a lot of weed.

But what if you went to Colorado and did something that is perfectly legal in that state: You went into a dispensary and bought some edibles, a marijuana cartridge or a vape pen, some wax, or even a marijuana "drink"? And then, doing what thousands of people do every year, you then bring some of it back to Texas in a car. It seemed innocent enough in Colorado so it shouldn't be that big of a deal here, right?

Well, not until you got stopped by the cops. (Who might have acted like you were some kind of drug kingpin.)

If they found your purchases, you probably ended up being charged with a felony. It sounds insane, but that's the law. Buried in Texas law is a section which says the possession of any amount* of THC (that's the substance in marijuna plant that makes you high) in a product that is not the plant itself is a felony. Why? No one has a good explanation, and the Texas legislature has yet to do anything about it. But then it gets stranger: The degree of felony is based upon the entire weight of what you bought in from Colorado and not just the amount of THC in it. (The total weight is based upon the fancy words of "adulterants and dilutants.") So a microscopic amount of THC, say 80 milligrams, will be considered to weigh 24 grams if it is in a 24 gram candy bar.

The breakdown is this:

< 1 gram: A State Jail Felony
> 1 gram < 4 grams: Third Degree Felony
> 4 grams < 400 grams: Second Degree Felony
> 400 grams: First Degree Felony

So are you in big trouble? Maybe not. First, don't necessarily worry about the weight and the degree. Even amounts of edibles for personal use can quickly get to the Second Degree range and higher. The prosecutor's office sees it all the time. Secondly, and most importantly, that same Wise County prosecutor's office has been more than reasonable on these type of cases and needs to be commended. Even when they can prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, they normally don't want to send you to prison and they normally don't even want a conviction. Most of the time they'll want a probation which will allow for you to escape a conviction if it is successfully completed and, for many cases, a Pre-Trial Diversion contract is not out of the question.

Of course, that's not a promise as to what will happen to you, just a guideline. The amount of product, your age, your criminal history, and other factors all play a role in how the case is resolved. But a resolution that everyone is happy with is the rule and not the exception. (And all of this assumes that the State can prove you knowingly possessed the THC, as well as the search of your vehicle being legitimate and lawful. Almost all of these cases are controlled by Rodriguez vs. United States so the police have rules to follow when a simple traffic stop turns into a prolonged drug investigation.)

I've handled these cases many times before. I know what to expect.

* "Any amount" technically means a concentration of > .03% and excludes some chemical compositions like, possibly, Delta-8.