In June 2019, a bill allowing the cultivation of hemp was signed into law by the governor of Texas. As a result, prosecutors in Travis County are rejecting possession of marijuana cases that originated on or after June 10 that don’t come with a lab report. The reason why the cases are being rejected is that lab equipment can’t detect the level of THC in a cannabis sample.
Hemp is defined as cannabis that contains less than .3% THC. Without the proper testing equipment, it is not possible to determine whether an item is legal or not. In addition to Travis County, authorities in Tarrant, Fort Bend, and Bexar counties are also refusing marijuana possession cases. It is expected that it will take up to 10 months for a procedure to be established that would allow for THC levels in cannabis to be accurately measured.
The district attorney for Travis County said that 32 felony cases that were filed on or after June 10 will be dismissed. A representative the Capital Area Private Defender Service board of directors says that pending cases should be dismissed at some point in the future. Therefore, she has urged members not to agree to plea deals in cases involving this charge. She also hoped that warrants related to possession of marijuana charges would be cancelled.
Individuals who have been charged with drug offenses may benefit from seeking the counsel of a legal professional. Doing so may make it possible to get a charge dismissed or obtain a favorable plea deal. If a case does go to trial, attorneys may be able to cast doubt on evidence presented to the jury. That may be enough to obtain an acquittal.