Oklahoma’s making Texas look bad. They’ve got a robust medical marijuana program, a head start on industrial hemp production, and cannabis laws that are significantly less terrifying than ours. In fact, all our bordering states – including those in Mexico – offer medicinal cannabis for their residents with chronic conditions. From where we stand, it’s hard not to feel like the Lone Star State is behind the curve and missing out: on job creation, on new income streams, on tax revenue, on an equitable justice system, on a crucial component of health care.
Much of that could change during this landmark session of the 86th Texas Legislature, running through May 27, during which a state-record 59 cannabis-related bills have been filed on topics ranging from decriminalizing marijuana possession and use to growing hemp, broadening the availability of cannabis-based medicine, regulating drug testing, and clarifying legalities surrounding CBD and other cannabis derivatives. Recreational marijuana access is not on the table, but as the 10 states where it is legal have already proven, it’s often not a giant leap, but a cavalcade of baby steps that leads to true legalization. Given that, here’s the lay of the land.