Texas Lawmakers Pre-File House Bills 441 & 447December 2, 2020 5:56 pm Categorised in: News And Legislation 1 Comment
New changes to the cannabis/marijuana laws in Texas
On November 10, 2020, Texas State Representatives filed two pieces of legislation (namely, House Bill 441 and 447). That means potentially, Texas is moving at a rapid pace towards changing laws regarding cannabis use. If these house bills are approved, Texas would legalize recreational marijuana use and tax it in the following year. This is, above all, amazing news for nature-loving Texans and the potential economic improvement could be a huge advantage.
House Bill 447
House Bill 447 calls for all cannabis products, including marijuana, to become legal to sell and appropriately taxed in Texas. Although this is great news for Texans, marijuana use for young adults aged under 21 would still remain illegal.
House Bill 441
House Bill 441 would decriminalize possession of marijuana. That means being caught with a small amount of marijuana would not result in arrest, but rather a penalty in the form of a minor fine or ticket.
Texas is not the first state to try to introduce changes in the cannabis laws. Approximately 15 states have approved and legalized recreational use of marijuana, and we expect to see the number rise in the months to come.
What these changes mean for us
One of the main reasons for filing these two bills is the economic downturn in the State. With a loss of over $4.6 billion, the State of Texas is looking into marijuana legalization as a solid approach to repairing the bruised economy that came as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Legalizing marijuana would mean the creation of more than 30,000 jobs, yet another way to boost the economy. If properly taxed, the marijuana legalization bill would bring in more than $1.1 billion every two years, with numbers potentially increasing year after year. For now, the plan is to take a 10% tax for every cannabis product, though that could change.
What we’re most thrilled about is that the State of Texas is beginning to hear its people. In a 2019 poll, more than 54% of Texans stated that they would support the decision to legalize marijuana for recreational use, and more and more people are starting to realize its benefits.
According to some sources, House Bill 447 ensures that possession of up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis (15 grams for concentrates) by anyone over the age of 21 will be safe and legal (if approved.)
Up until now, possession of marijuana/cannabis-based products containing more than 0.3% THC was a Class B misdemeanor punishable by 2 years in prison / $2,000 fine. That’s why House Bill 441 would make such a difference & is important for regulating the use of marijuana. Approval of this bill would automatically classify marijuana possession as a Class C misdemeanor.
Although this is a fantastic turn of events, it might take time until we see changes in Texas’ cannabis law. Each bill will be considered after the Texas Legislature convenes after January 12, 2021.
We at Grassroots Harvest are excited to see what the new year will bring to our nature-loving community. This could be a huge step towards a better future where natural products like marijuana are safe & legal to use.