CBD oil is an extract from marijuana or hemp plants from which the THC has been removed. This substance is legal in Texas; however, the presence of synthetic cannabinoids – chemicals used to mimic the effects of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana – makes it illegal.
Even though it may be for sale at a neighborhood smoke shop, even if the person behind the counter tells you it’s “safe” to buy and use these products, the reality is you could get into a lot of trouble if the police find you in possession of CBD oil that has had synthetic cannabinoids added to it.
Operation “Three of a Kind”
A recent undercover sting conducted by the Houston Police Department and the Harris County Sheriff’s Department shows just how widespread the synthetic cannabinoid problem is. Called Operation “Three of a Kind”, HPD Narcotics Division bought CBD oil from multiple smoke shops in Houston and tested them in a lab.
It turns out that a lot of the CBD oil sold in Houston smoke shops contains some form of synthetic cannabinoid. Authorities reported that every bottle of oil purchased from three smoke shops – Fantasy, located on Westheimer Road; and Smokey Doke and Dreamerz, both located on Bingle Road – contained the same illegal synthetic cannabinoids found in a drug called Kush.
Punishment for Possession of Synthetic Cannabinoids
Under Texas state law, synthetic cannabinoids are categorized as a Penalty Group 2-A controlled substance. If you have been arrested for possession of synthetic marijuana in Houston, here is the punishment you could receive, depending on how much of the substance you had in your possession:
- Possession of less than 1 gram: A state jail felony. If convicted, you could receive a fine of up to $10,000 and be sentenced to between 6 months to 2 years in jail.
- Possession of 1 to 3.9 grams: A 3rd degree felony. If convicted, you could receive a fine of up to $10,000 and be sentenced to anywhere between 2 to 10 years in jail.
- Possession of 4 grams to 399 grams: A 2nd degree felony. If convicted, you could pay a fine of up to $10,000 and face between 2 to 20 years in jail.
- Possession of 400 grams or more: A 1st degree felony. If convicted, you could pay fines up to $50,000 and be sentenced to 10 years to life in prison.
In addition to the fines and jail time, an arrest and conviction for synthetic cannabinoids in Houston will permanently remain on your public record. This could come back to haunt you later on when looking for a job, seeking financial assistance or trying to rent an apartment.
Have You Been Charged with Possession of Synthetic Cannabinoids in Houston?
If you have been arrested for possession of synthetic cannabinoids in Houston or Harris County, the smartest move you can make would be to seek legal representation from an experienced Houston drug crimes defense attorney as soon as possible.
Lisa Shapiro Strauss is an experienced Houston criminal defense lawyer who has been helping clients arrested for drug possession and other crimes for over 20 years. She is dedicated to defending the rights of the accused and working hard to see that her clients receive the best possible outcome.
Call the offices of Lisa Shapiro Strauss Attorney at Law today at (713) 449-9922 to schedule a free initial consultation to review your case.