Stem Cell Texas Crime graphic with Texas flag
Stem Cell Texas Crime graphic with Texas flag

Prohibition on Purchase and Sale of Adult Stem Cells for Certain Investigational Treatments

The 85th Texas Legislature created a new law in 2017 called Prohibition on Purchase and Sale of Adult Stem Cells for Certain Investigational Treatments, which makes it illegal to buy and sell stem cells.

This law was created by Section 3 of House Bill 8101 and is to be codified at Section 48.03 in the Texas Penal Code.

Have you been charged with Prohibition on Purchase and Sale of Adult Stem Cells for Certain Investigational Treatments in Texas? Call criminal defense lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305 to discuss legal representation.

H.B. 810 created an entire regulatory system regarding adult stem cell research, and the law takes effect September 1, 2017.2

What is the current Texas law about Prohibition on Purchase and Sale of Adult Stem Cells for Certain Investigational Treatments?

The current Texas law is as follows:3

(b) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly offers to buy, offers to sell, acquires, receives, sells, or otherwise transfers any adult stem cells for valuable consideration for use in an investigational stem cell treatment.

“Adult stem cell” is defined as “an undifferentiated cell that is: (A) found in differentiated tissue; and (B) able to renew itself and differentiate to yield all or nearly all of the specialized cell types of the tissue from which the cell originated.”4

“Investigational stem cell treatment” is defined as “an adult stem cell treatment that: (A) is under investigation in a clinical trial and being administered to human participants in that trial; and (B) has not yet been approved for general use by the United States Food and Drug Administration.”5

Are there any exceptions in the law?

There are exceptions in the law for payments to doctors, medical personnel, hospitals, reimbursement for medical expenses and any payments regulated under the blood bank rules of Chapter 162 of the Texas Health and Safety Code.6

What is the penalty for a Prohibition on Purchase and Sale of Adult Stem Cells for Certain Investigational Treatments conviction?

The law is penalized as a Class A misdemeanor,7 with punishment not to exceed jail time of one year and payment of a fine not to exceed $4,000.


Legal References:

1 House Bill 810

2 House Bill 810 at Section 5-6

3 Texas Penal Code §48.03(b), as created by House Bill 810, Section 4, effective September 1, 2017

4 Texas Penal Code §48.03(a)(1), as created by House Bill 810, Section 4, effective September 1, 2017

5 Texas Penal Code §48.03(a)(2), as created by House Bill 810, Section 4, effective September 1, 2017

6 Texas Penal Code §48.03(c)&(d), as created by House Bill 810, Section 4, effective September 1, 2017:

(c) It is an exception to the application of this section
that the valuable consideration is:

(1) a fee paid to a physician or to other medical personnel for services rendered in the usual course of medical practice or a fee paid for hospital or other clinical services;

(2) reimbursement of legal or medical expenses incurred for the benefit of the ultimate receiver of the investigational stem cell treatment; or

(3) reimbursement of expenses of travel, housing, and lost wages incurred by the donor of adult stem cells in connection with the donation of the adult stem cells.

(d) It is an exception to the application of this section that the actor engaged in conduct authorized under Chapter 162, Health and Safety Code.

7 Texas Penal Code Section §48.03(e), as created by House Bill 810, Section 4, effective September 1, 2017

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