Recent changes in both Texas law and federal laws will change how labs test for certain types of drugs are handled, which could have a significant impact on cases throughout the state. Changes in how the law will now define the components in hemp and marijuana could affect how people facing certain types of criminal charges will approach their drug crimes defense strategy. Before the law changed, hemp was considered part of the cannabis plant, but was not considered marijuana.
Now, hemp has a legal definition, and marijuana has a new legal definition. According to these new changes, the distinction between the two is now based on the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the sample. If it’s below a certain THC level, it’s hemp, but above a certain threshold makes it marijuana. Many labs that do drug sample testing are unable to accurately test according to these new standards.
This development could directly impact the course of some drug crime cases in Texas. With drug labs unable to test and accurately determine if a seized product is hemp or marijuana, it can be difficult to prosecute certain types of cases. At this point, it will be difficult to prove if the drugs someone had in his or her possession were illegal.
A person facing marijuana-related charges in Texas would be wise to take action to explore his or her drug crimes defense options. It is possible that inadequate testing or other issues could directly affect the prosecution’s case. An assessment of the individual situation will determine the most appropriate way forward.