Open a Dispensary in Texas

Summary of Marijuana Laws

In 2015, Texas passed Senate Bill 339, The Compassionate Use Act, authorizing patients with intractable epilepsy to use oils derived from low THC strains of cannabis. Because of the specificity of this law, the size of the market is very small. Early in 2017, the Department of Public Safety accepted applications for vertically integrated medical marijuana businesses. Three dispensing organizations (able to cultivate, process, and dispense) received licenses to operate by the end of 2017.


Texas is not offering medical marijuana licenses at this time.


The current market is exceptionally small: as of January 2018, no patients qualified to access medical marijuana products and only 11 physicians had registered to participate in the program. The program also requires physicians to “prescribe” medical marijuana as opposed to “recommending” it to patients; this distinction puts physicians at risk.


If the medical marijuana program changes to become similar to other states (authorizing additional qualifying conditions such as chronic pain), and allows a wider variety of medical marijuana strains and products, the program has the potential to become much larger. Changes could come during the 2019 legislative session.


If Texas legalizes marijuana for adult use, the market could be as large as $3 billion, according to industry analyst firm Arcview.


Content updated July 19, 2018.