Possessing a Dab Pen in TX Has Serious Legal Implications

THC dab pen

A dab is a concentrated form of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the component in marijuana plants that gets people high. Dabs are created through a chemical process to extract the resin from the marijuana plant. Users consume the concentration in various ways. But more and more people are using dab pens to inhale the vaporized extract.

Although dab pens are gaining popularity, they are not legal. More specifically, possessing dabs is unlawful in Texas, and profound implications exist for being arrested. Regardless of the amount of the substance, the offense is a felony, with the degree varying based on the weight of the dab.

If you need legal assistance fighting a drug crime charge in Fort Worth, please contact the Beasley Law Firm at (817) 440-7707.

What Is a Dab?

A dab is a THC concentrate. It is manufactured by extracting the resin or oils from marijuana using butane or other solvents or chemicals.

The consistency of dabs varies depending on the extraction method used. Some forms are malleable and look like wax or butter. Others are hard and resemble dark glass. Dabs are often referred to by their texture.

Common names for the substance include:

  • Shatter: Glass-looking dabs
  • Wax: Soft dabs
  • Crumble/honeycomb: Dryer dabs
  • Budder: Viscous dabs
  • Sugar: Dabs resembling wet sugar

Because dabs consist of only the resin from the marijuana plant, they have a THC concentration of 50 to 80%. In contrast, traditional cannabis is about 10 to 15% THC. Thus, dabs are more potent than marijuana.

Ways THC Concentrates Are Consumed

Traditionally, THC concentrates, including dabs, were smoked using a bong or water pipe. However, with the invention and proliferation of e-cigarettes and vaporizers, the consumption method has changed over the years.

More and more people are using devices similar to e-cigarettes or vaporizers explicitly designed for consuming dabs. With these devices, often called dab pens or dab rigs, the user places a small amount of the substance in a chamber. They push a button on the pen, which causes the device to heat the THC extract to an extremely high temperature. Once the dab is heated, it becomes a vapor the user inhales.

Dabs can also be consumed using vape pens. These are similar to dab pens in that the device heats up and vaporizes the substance, and the user inhales the vapor. The difference is that a vape pen requires the user to insert into a tank a cartridge pre-filled with a liquid form of THC.

The Legal Implications of Getting Arrested for Having a Dab Pen

Kids and adults alike are being arrested for having dab pens in Texas.

Because dabs are concentrated THC, they are classified as Penalty Group 2 drugs. This category is one of the most severe in Texas. Thus, being arrested for having even a tiny amount of them is a felony. The degree of charge and punishments increase based upon the weight of the THC extract.

To illustrate the seriousness of an arrest for possessing dabs and dab pens, below are the possible penalties for a conviction:

  • Less than 1 gram: State jail felony
    • 180 days to 2 years in state jail and/or
    • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • 1 gram or more but less than 4 grams: Third-degree felony
    • 2 to 10 years in prison and/or
    • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • 4 grams or more but less than 400 grams: Second-degree felony
    • 2 to 20 years in prison and/or
    • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • 400 grams or more
    • 5 to 99 years or life in prison and/or
    • A fine of up to $50,000

Where Do People Get Dab Pens?

Dab pens/rigs are everywhere in Texas. Yet, drug paraphernalia and recreational use of controlled substances are forbidden in the state.

So how are people getting the devices and the dabs? From various sources. Some individuals might order them from an online store. They might also go to a state where marijuana is illegal and bring the items back to Texas. Or they could purchase them from someone who has brought them into the state illegally and is reselling them.

What to Do If You’ve Been Arrested?

Recognizing the penalties you can face for possessing THC concentrate, you might feel frightened or stressed if you have been arrested. But don’t lose hope. Defenses may be available to challenge the accusations against you and seek a favorable outcome, such as dropped or reduced charges.

Get an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side for help fighting your charge in Fort Worth.

Schedule a consultation with the Beasley Law Firm by contacting us at (817) 440-7707.

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