HOUSTON (AP) — A new law which legalizes hemp in the state of Texas is creating problems for authorities that will likely cost millions of dollars to fix and has temporarily stopped the prosecution of some misdemeanor cases involving marijuana, hemp’s plant cousin.
After the 2018 federal Farm Bill made hemp legal in the U.S., states like Texas passed legislation allowing farmers to grow it.
Texas’ new law provides a specific definition of marijuana, based on its percentage of THC, the compound that gets users high.
However, before the new law was set into place, Texas authorities only needed to show the presence of THC in suspected marijuana.
Officials say most Texas crime labs cannot test for exact amounts of THC.
District attorneys in at least four Texas counties say they will stop accepting misdemeanor marijuana cases until the problem is fixed.