Cannabis on the Border: What NM’s Cannabis Economy Means for El Paso

Cannabis on the Border: What NM’s Cannabis Economy Means for El Paso


Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that on April 1, recreational cannabis sales began in New Mexico. Revenue from those sales reached over $5 million on the first weekend! Many El Pasoans traveled across the border to buy product and bring it back to Texas, but those folks are taking a big risk.

Most THC remains illegal in Texas.

How do you minimize the risk of getting in trouble? Well, let me tell you!

A police officer can pull you over for reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation. That's an incredibly low standard.

If you get stopped, here are FIVE THINGS you need to know:

1. The smell of marijuana is enough for probable cause to search your car. Don't smoke in your car!

2. Never have product on you or in plain view. Keep it in a locked glove box or in your trunk. Plain view of a grinder/pipe/etc. is also probable cause to search your car.

3. You DO a constitutional right to say "no" to a search. The cops may do it anyway, but if you don't consent, we can challenge the constitutionality of the search!

4. You DON'T have to answer questions about your day, where you're coming from, where you're going, if you have product in the car, or if it's yours.

5. You DO have to give them your license and answer basic questions about your identity if you are the driver.




If you’re also wondering how much you can purchase … it’s a lot!

1. Up to 2 ounces of flower.

       That's enough for approximately 60 joints. But, that's also a Class B Misdemeanor in Texas.

2. Up to 16 grams of concentrate.

       That's plenty for personal use - each cartridge can be 1 gram. But, that's also a 2nd Degree Felony in Texas.

3. Up to 800 milligrams of edibles.

       All edibles and concentrates are weighed with "adulterants and dilutants," so the weight of your THC for criminal law purposes includes sugar, flour, gelatin, etc. That weight determines the level of felony you’re facing.

If you're pulled over, be polite and respectful but know your rights!

Oh ... and one more thing ...

BONUS TIP: Weed DWIs are possible but very difficult to prove. Since there's no "legal limit" for cannabis in your system, and each person reacts differently, the state must prove you weren't able to drive safely. A few hits probably won't do it, but if you are too high to drive, get a ride instead. And always refuse the field sobriety tests!


If you’ve been caught with cannabis or charged with possession of marijuana in El Paso, Texas, you’ll need an experienced cannabis lawyer on your side. I’m the criminal defense lawyer you need in El Paso.