The Texas Senate declined to vote on a House-approved bill to reduce the criminal penalties for cannabis extract possession before the end of the state’s legislative session, the Austin American-Statesman reports. The measure passed the lower chamber 95-44 on Sunday ahead of the Legislature’s midnight deadline but the Senate declined to hold its own vote.
The proposal would have lowered the penalty for possessing less than 2 ounces of concentrate products – such as edibles, tinctures, and oils – from a felony to a Class B misdemeanor. Individuals caught with concentrate products in the state face between six months and two years in jail.
The House version had been amended by Republican Sen. Charles Perry to include regulations for Delta-8 THC but that amendment was neither approved by the House nor by the conference committee, which unanimously approved the original version.
According to the report, just one of more than a dozen cannabis-related bills made it to the desk of Gov. Greg Abbot (R). The watered-down version of the medical cannabis program expansion bill was the only cannabis-related legislation to be approved by lawmakers and move to the governor. As introduced, the measure would have increased THC limits in medical cannabis products from 0.5% to 5% but the final version only approved an increase to 1%.
A March poll conducted by the University of Texas and Texas Tribune found 60% of Texans support broad cannabis legalization in the state; 28% of poll respondents said they believed cannabis should only be legalized for medical purposes while 13% preferred cannabis remain outlawed in the state.
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