Covid-19 disrupted Texas’ budget causing a $4.6 billion pit. Texas Democratic lawmakers are optimistic about legalizing and taxing recreational cannabis use. However, Texans are keeping calm about this happening anytime soon.
Legalization could hold a new source of revenue for the Lone Star State. Three lawmakers are posing legislation revealing the opportunities.
Democrat State Senator Roland Gutierrez filed SB 140, which would allow recreational use for adults 21 and older estimated at $3.2 billion in state incomings and 30,000 jobs. Gutierrez’s bill, also known as the “Real Solutions Act,” claims a tax on products to fund border security and schools. Importantly, it would make room for law enforcement to pursue serious offenses.
Democrat Jessica González filed House Bill 3248. In her bill, it provides counties to foster ordinances that would legalize recreational use of cannabis within their district. The bill stipulates a tax on cannabis products and revenue directed towards cannabis regulation, testing, quality control, and distribution to local governments for oversight. The Foundation School Fund would receive the remainder.
González also filed HB 3249, which prohibits judges from issuing warrants for community supervision violations based on a positive THC drug test.
Democrat Representative and Chairwoman of the Public Health Committee Stephanie Klick filed HB 1535. The bill would expand on the current Texas Compassionate Use Program. Her legislation proposal would include Cancer, Chronic Pain, and PTSD for Veterans in its expansion. Further, it would allow adding new qualifying conditions to be done by the Department of State Health Services administrative rule-making process.
As aforementioned, the bills could transform Texas cannabis laws. Full legalization would be the most profound measure. However, there remain several traditionalists to be educated by the nontraditional groups.