What Happens If You Get Caught Growing Marijuana in Texas?

growing marijuana in Texas

If you have been charged with growing marijuana in Texas, let the team at Broden & Mickelsen, LLP protect your rights and inform you of your legal options. With years of experience defending similar cases, we can work to mitigate the charges against you. Contact us now for a free initial consultation, and take the first step toward protecting your future.

Texas Marijuana Laws

If you get caught growing cannabis in Texas without proper authorization, you could face several serious criminal charges. The most common charge is possession of marijuana, which applies whether you grow or purchase cannabis. In Texas, the penalties for possessing marijuana vary based on the amount you have. The Texas Controlled Substances Act provides for the following penalties:

  • If you possess two ounces or less, it’s a Class B misdemeanor. This can lead to up to 180 days in county jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
  • If you possess more than two ounces but no more than four ounces, it’s a Class A misdemeanor. This charge can result in up to one year of jail time and a maximum fine of $4,000.
  • Possessing more than four ounces but no more than five pounds of marijuana is a state jail felony. It could result in 180 days to two years in jail in the state of Texas and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Possessing more than five pounds but no more than 50 pounds is a third-degree felony. The penalty can be two to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Possessing more than 50 pounds but no more than 2,000 pounds is a second-degree felony. This can result in two to twenty years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/HS/htm/HS.481.htm[——-
  • If you possess more than 2,000 pounds, it’s a first-degree felony. This can lead to five to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

Notably, there are some limited exceptions to Texas’ prohibition against the possession and cultivation of marijuana plants, including the following:

  • The Hemp Farming Act – This act allows people to grow hemp legally with certain restrictions. Hemp is a type of marijuana plant, but it has very low levels of THC, the compound that makes you feel high. To grow hemp legally, you must get a license from the state. If you grow low-THC cannabis without following the relevant laws in Texas, you could face criminal or administrative penalties.
  • The Compassionate Use Program – This program recognizes medical marijuana and is provided for under the Texas Health and Safety Code. It lets doctors prescribe low-THC cannabis for medical purposes. It originally started in 2015 to help people with intractable epilepsy. Since then, Texas has expanded the program to include more medical conditions like cancer, PTSD, and multiple sclerosis. Under this program, licensed dispensaries can legally provide low-THC cannabis to qualified patients who meet the conditions and whose doctors prescribe it.

Federal Marijuana Laws

Under current federal law in the United States, cultivating marijuana remains illegal and is penalized harshly. The federal government presently classifies marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance. This classification means it’s considered to have no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse, putting it in the same category as heroin. As a result, those caught growing weed can face significant penalties, including hefty fines and lengthy prison sentences, depending on the amount of the drug involved and whether it crosses state lines.

Promisingly, there are anticipated changes to these federal laws. In early 2024, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced plans to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule III controlled substance, along with drugs like ketamine and some anabolic steroids. This change would recognize marijuana’s medical uses and acknowledge that it has a lower potential for abuse compared to more dangerous drugs. While this reclassification will not legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, it marks a significant shift in American drug policy and could ease some penalties associated with marijuana possession and cultivation.

How a Board-Certified Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

If you get caught growing marijuana in Texas, choosing Broden & Mickelsen, LLP for your defense might be the smartest move you can make. Our partners are board-certified specialists in Texas criminal law and criminal appellate law. This means we have proven skills and are recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization for our legal proficiency. With over 60 years of combined experience in criminal defense, we know how to handle both state and federal cases effectively. Trust our extensive knowledge of Texas law and appellate law to guide you through this challenging time in your life.

We offer comprehensive representation from day one. This means we will support you through every stage of your case, from the initial charge to any appeals or post-conviction relief proceedings, if necessary. Our extensive experience and successful track record in helping clients make us a reliable choice for anyone facing criminal charges for marijuana cultivation in Texas.

Possible Defenses to Raise in Your Case

If you’re facing charges for unlawfully growing marijuana in violation of federal or state laws, there are several defense strategies our drug defense lawyers might use to challenge the accusations. Common defenses that have proven effective in such cases involve demonstrating:

  • Unlawful Search and Seizure – We could argue that law enforcement officers searched your property without a valid warrant or probable cause. If the court agrees, any evidence from the search, including the marijuana plants, could be thrown out, weakening the prosecution’s case.
  • Lack of Possession – Even if police found marijuana on your property, we could argue that you were not actually in possession of it. This could be true if multiple people had access to the location, making it unclear who the marijuana plants belonged to.
  • Lack of Knowledge – It’s possible to defend against cultivation charges by proving you were unaware of the marijuana growing on your property. This defense could apply if, for instance, someone else was using your property for cultivation without your knowledge.
  • Improper Lab Testing Procedures – Sometimes, we can challenge the authenticity or accuracy of the lab results that confirmed the substance was marijuana. If our criminal defense attorneys can demonstrate that the lab did not follow proper procedures, the court might consider the evidence unreliable.
  • False Allegations – Another possible defense involves proving that the charges against you are based on false allegations. This could occur when someone else, perhaps caught for their own crimes, falsely accuses you of cultivating to reduce their own penalties.

The prosecutor has the burden of proving your guilt of every element of the offense by proof beyond a reasonable doubt. We fight to show they have failed to meet this heavy burden.

Contact Our Experienced Criminal Defense Team for Help Defending Marijuana Charges

If you’re dealing with charges for growing marijuana in Texas, you need the right legal help. Contact Broden & Mickelsen, LLP today for a free consultation. We bring years of defense experience to your case and are ready to fight for you. Make the call now and take control of your legal situation.