SB 173: Relating to the Criminalization of Synthetic Cannabinoids

By Alexa Grigsby*

This blog is part of our 60 Laws in 60 Minutes update to the SHSU community.

Senate Bill 173 was passed during the 84th session of the Texas Legislature, and went into effect on the 1st of September, 2015. This bill addresses the issue of synthetic cannabinoids, which have potentially lethal effects for the user.

This bill criminalizes all 12 of the potential cores and ring structures from which synthetic compounds can be made, effectively criminalizing all synthetic cannabinoids. The bill also lists synthetic cannabinoids as controlled substances and controlled substance analogues under the Texas Controlled Substances Act.

A controlled substance is any substance, including a drug, an adulterant, and a dilutant, listed in Schedules I through V or Penalty Group 1, 1-A, 2, 2-A, 3, or 4. A controlled substance analogue is a substance with a chemical structure substantially similar to the chemical structure of a controlled substance, or a substance specifically designed to produce an effect substantially similar to, or greater than, the effect of a controlled substance.

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