With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, Congress legalized much, but not all, hemp products containing less than .3 percent THC concentration. Cannabidiol, or CBD oil, is a hemp product that is touted as having many positive medical and health benefits. CBD oil may or may not contain THC. The media reports surrounding the legalization in the Farm Bill and intense marketing efforts of CBD oil distributors has caused some Texas employees to believe that CBD oil and other hemp products are now legal in Texas. That belief may cause employees to suffer adverse employment consequences and even potential criminal prosecution.
Except for CBD oil having a THC concentration of less than .5 percent prescribed for intractable seizures by a physician licensed and registered to prescribe the oil (and confirmed by a second physician), possession, use or sale of the CBD oil is a felony under state law. An employee’s reliance on the packaging material of hemp products that they contain little or no TCH is also not something that an individual should place much reliance on. According to a 2017 Research Letter from the Journal of the American Medical Associations, 78 percent of 84 tested products were mislabeled.
While it is not expected that Texas district attorneys will spend significant resources prosecuting users of these products, the fact that it remains a second degree felony should cause employees to be cautious in purchasing and using these products until Texas law is amended to provide fewer restrictions on their possession, sale and use.