Texas lawmakers are making changes in the law that will allow broader use of hemp products, including some CBD (cannabidiol) oils in over-the-counter products.

But the sale, purchase and possession of CBD oil in Texas remains a complex legal issue. While the federal government removed industrial hemp from its list of restricted products in 2018, Texas law wasn’t as clear until just recently. And Texas has one of the most restrictive medical marijuana programs in the nation, with very few people (about 700) qualifying.

CBD oil and other CBD products are now regulated under Texas law, with the maximum legal quantity of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) — the psychoactive ingredient that creates a high in marijuana — in over-the-counter products almost the same as what is permitted via the Compassionate Use program. However, there’s one wrinkle that users of CBD oil and other products need to know:

The police may not be able to tell the difference between the legal stuff and the illegal stuff. And, when in doubt, they’ll probably assume that you have the illegal stuff.

Why? Because the field tests most law enforcement officers use to see if a product contains THC aren’t that sophisticated, and they often produce false-positives. Basically, since CBD oil can have .3% THC present legally, that presents a problem for tests that only provide a “positive” or “negative” result — which is what field tests do.

Buyers (and sellers) of CBD oil and other CBD products need to be careful. If you’re stopped at a traffic stop or otherwise interrogated by police, don’t give any information out that could lead the police to look for marijuana products. Remember your right to remain silent and to refuse consent to searches.

If you are arrested for possession of CBD oil after a field test showed positive for marijuana, seek legal advice promptly.