Marijuana in Texas Cities: House Bill 1937

House Bill 1937

State Rep. Jessica Gonzáles (D-Dallas) filed House Bill 1937, giving counties and municipalities legislative control over recreational use of cannabis.

Filed on February 6th, 2023, the bill further goes on to state Texans ages 21+ may posses and transport up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. In addition imposing a 10% tax on all cannabis products. Which would go to cannabis regulation, cannabis testing and quality control, government oversight and to school funds.

“Twenty-one states in America have legalized cannabis, and twenty-seven states have decriminalized the use of cannabis. In a recent study, a majority of Texans supported some form of legalization of cannabis use,” stated Gonzáles. “While Texas has made progress with the Compassionate Use Act, we have been left behind on a potential revenue source that would increase investments in public education, stop unnecessary arrests for cannabis possession, and create jobs in our state.”

Gonzáles is right, a majority of the state are in indeed favor of some form of marijuana legalization. Within the past election, five Texas cities have voted to decriminalize low-level marijuana possession. Voters in Denton, San Marcos, Killeen, Elgin, and Harker Heights followed Austin’s lead in cannabis law reformations. Together with new rules blocking cities from funding THC concentration tests, and removing marijuana smell as a probable cause for search and seizure in most cases.

In addition, 32% of all Texas voters believe possession of small amounts of marijuana for any purpose should be legal. Followed by 23% of voters believing possession of any amount for any purpose should be legal.  28% believe cannabis should remain reserved for medicinal use. And 17% stand by keeping marijuana illegal.

State of Affairs

Since 2019, cannabis legislation within Texas has been akin to mental gymnastics. Lawmakers still struggle to this day with clear-cut policies on marijuana derivatives alone, such as hemp and Delta-8.

For instance, Texas law clearly states that the possession and use of marijuana is illegal — and has been since 1931. Hemp became legal in Texas by House Bill 1325, signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in 2019. Lawfully, hemp is not considered marijuana due to its low THC concentration (≤0.03%). Tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known as THC, is the major psychoactive component of cannabis. Meaning it is responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana use.

Herein is where the true issue of cannabis laws lie. Prosecutors and law enforcement agencies are now required to test for THC in low level marijuana cases. However, public testing labs are ill-equipped to quantify THC concentration, or lack testing methods whatsoever. Thereby leading to pot prosecutions to drop by the numbers, or thrown in judicial limbo.

Overall, the political climate in Texas regarding marijuana is seeing a gradual shift. Does that mean House Bill 1937 has a chance? Rep. Gonzáles filed a similar bill in 2021, but it did not go up for vote. But with more and more counties and cities joining decimalization, advocates see a possible future where things may be different.




The U.S. Cannabis Reform Wave 2023

In recent years, the United States has experienced a major shift in its attitudes towards cannabis. These bills represent an unprecedented effort to transform the way that marijuana is regulated. Offering new opportunities for businesses and consumers. While also addressing longstanding issues of social justice and equity. Several states have passed or are well within the legislative process of these bills, with many more expected to follow suit in the coming months.

Here are some key bills that are currently in the works:


House Bill 98 (HB 98) suggests lower penalties for possession of controlled substances. Such as cannabis, and sets up “harm reduction centers” to offer medical treatment, counseling, and drug screenings to those charged with possession. These centers would require individuals to complete 15 hours of community service and educational programming instead of facing standard penalties.


House Bill  48 (HB 48) would add a ballot question to Kentucky’s state constitution: Allowing those over 21 to possess, use, buy, or sell up to one ounce of cannabis and grow up to five plants for personal use without criminal repercussions. The Kentucky General Assembly would regulate the process, but the details of state approval and regulation remain unclear.


House Bill 47 (HB 47) proposes decriminalizing marijuana possession without voter approval. As well as providing the opportunity for individuals with previous convictions for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana to have their records expunged.


House Bill 22 (HB 22) & Senate Bill (SB 51) are Kentucky’s most comprehensive cannabis bills yet. Seeking to legalize medical and recreational marijuana, while stating that full legalization is in the state’s best interest. The bills establish a Cannabis Control Board to regulate marijuana. As well as prohibit employers from discriminating against workers who use cannabis during non-work hours. Provided, it does not affect job performance.


House Bill 107 (HB 107) & Senate Bill 47 (SB 47) propose medical marijuana use without smoking. SB 47 leaves the medical conditions that qualify up to doctors, making it less restrictive than a previous bill. Meanwhile, HB 107 establishes a medical cannabis program. Regulating it under the Department for Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control, mirroring SB 47.


Senate Bill 78 (SB 78) suggests adding a ballot question asking Kentucky voters about legalizing cannabis, including language to legalize medical marijuana and protect patients and healthcare providers from criminal sanctions.


House Bill 556 (HB 556) & Senate Bill 516 (SB 516) regulates cannabis sales for adults 21 and older, allowing businesses to serve both medical patients and adults. On-sight consumption licenses would be available, in addition to parental and personal protections. Such as increasing the possession limit for registered medical patients and creating a social equity commission. The bills also implement a 6% tax on cannabis sales, with plans to increase that to 10% by 2028.


State Question 820 (SQ 820) proposes legalizing the possession and purchase of cannabis for Oklahomans aged 21 and above. With a limit of one ounce of cannabis flower, 8 grams of concentrate, six mature, six seedling plants for personal cultivation.


House Bill 1937 (HB 1937) proposes giving counties and municipalities the power to legalize recreational marijuana. Adults 21 and older could possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and up to 15 grams of concentrates. With a maximum of 10 ounces stored securely at home. The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation would oversee regulation. And impose a 10% tax on cannabis products, with the revenue funding regulation, testing, and quality control. Any remaining revenue would go to public schools.


House Bill 17 (HB 17) proposes allowing the Department of Agriculture to issue 10 cultivation and processing licenses and 40 retail dispensary permits. Applicants must undergo criminal background checks. The aim is to control and track the growth and distribution of cannabis.


House Bill 24 (HB 24) seeks to decriminalize cannabis possession and distribution by introducing a licensing system, similar to that of alcohol sales. The bill would regulate recreational marijuana sales if passed.