Even though there are no specific marijuana cultivation laws in Texas at this time, don’t just assume that you can do it without any repercussions. In fact, if you are caught cultivating marijuana, penalties range from up to 180 days in jail and up to $2,000 in fines to life in prison and up to $50,000 in fines.
How is that possible if there is no actual law here against cultivation? To understand, we first need to define “cultivation” itself.
What It Means to Cultivate Marijuana in Texas
Marijuana cultivation occurs when an individual grows or harvests leaves or buds from cannabis plants. The individual might use the plants for medical, medicinal, or personal purposes, or sell and distribute the marijuana.
In Texas, growing or cultivating marijuana is considered a crime of possession under state laws. According to the law, cultivation is defined as an individual knowingly or intentionally possessing a sizeable amount of marijuana to be used for growing or cultivating.
Some states have legalized the cultivation of marijuana plants for specific purposes. However, at this time, the only cannabis plants growing legally here are in Schulenberg, Texas – for medical marijuana. Any individual or business found growing or cultivating marijuana beyond this one approved source will charged for criminal possession of marijuana plants.
Which is how the state criminalizes cultivation without actually writing a specific law for it. So, what does it mean to be charged with marijuana possession in our state?
Cultivation Covered by Texas Laws on Marijuana Possession
The most important thing to remember if you are facing marijuana possession charges is that a criminal conviction is not guaranteed. The prosecution must prove several elements to secure a conviction. If every element is not proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the charges against you can be dropped or reduced. The best way to achieve a positive outcome is to work with an experienced Texas drug crimes lawyer to build a solid defense against your charges.
These types of charges can apply if an individual owns a structure that is used to grow or cultivate marijuana. Typically, marijuana grow houses are outfitted with special lighting and irrigation systems to produce beneficial growing conditions for the plants. The grow house can be a home, building, trailer, shed, greenhouse, or any other outdoor or indoor structure.
If the police suspect that you are growing or cultivating marijuana, they can request a warrant to search your property and seize any evidence that can be used against you in court.
In Texas, Marijuana Cultivation Penalties Mirror Possession Consequences
Penalties for marijuana possession offenses vary from misdemeanors to felonies, depending on the amount of marijuana allegedly in possession at the time the individual is arrested. For cultivation, the charges will apply for the total weight of all plants that are found. The penalties vary as described below.
A class B misdemeanor may apply for up to two ounces of marijuana. A conviction can result in up to 180 days in jail, a fine of up to $2,000, or both.
A class A misdemeanor may apply for between two and four ounces of marijuana. A conviction can result in up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000, or both.
A state jail felony may apply for between four ounces and five pounds of marijuana. A conviction can result in 180 days to two years in jail, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
A third degree felony may apply for between five pounds and 50 pounds of marijuana. A conviction can result in two to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
A second degree felony may apply for between 50 pounds and 2,000 pounds of marijuana. A conviction can result in two to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
A first degree felony may apply for more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana. A conviction can result in five to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000.
If You are Facing Penalties Due to Marijuana Cultivation in Texas
As you can see, the penalties for cultivating even a small amount of marijuana in Texas can be serious. If you are charged with possession of many plants, a conviction can result in years of prison time. That’s why it’s essential to contact a knowledgeable Texas drug crimes lawyer as soon as charges are filed against you.
Our attorneys will fight hard against the allegations you face and help you find the best outcome possible. We will study all of the evidence against you and look for the strongest defenses to the charges.
Depending on the specifics of your situation, we may be able to use the following defenses in your case:
- Lack of knowledge that marijuana was being cultivated
- Lack of intent to deliver
- Lack of intent to use for human consumption
- Not enough marijuana to qualify for charges
Contact us today to discuss the specific details of your case and set up a free initial consultation.
About the Author:
Brandon Fulgham has an in-depth understanding of both Texas law and Texans themselves. Before practicing law here, he received his undergraduate degree from TCU, and his law degree from South Texas College of Law in Houston. After graduation, he worked in District Attorneys’ offices as a prosecutor, building cases designed to put people behind bars. Now, he uses that knowledge to protect the rights of people in and around Fort Worth, making sure they receive the strongest possible defense when they find themselves on the wrong side of the law. He has been recognized for his work by The National Trial Lawyers, Fort Worth Magazine, and others.