Texas has recently expanded its medical cannabis program, allowing doctors to recommend medical cannabis for patients suffering from epilepsy, chronic pain and other debilitating illnesses. The vote, which was approved by the Texas State Senate and House of Representatives, will make the Lone Star State the largest state in the country to have such a program. This expansion marks an important step in the legal effort to normalize the use of medical cannabis in the United States.
Last year, Texas adults were able to legally use cannabis for the first time in the state’s history. This newfound freedom—and the many benefits of the plant—was born out of a growing national movement, and has resulted in a medically-approved program that is improving lives in the Lone Star State.
The Texas Department of Health and Human Services is expanding the state’s medical cannabis program, opening up a new area of the state that was previously off limits to individuals who need it. This is a significant step for Texas, which has been slow to embrace the medical marijuana movement. Although some states have conservatively legalized the plant for medical use, no state as large as Texas has done so, especially in a conservative state like Texas.. Read more about updates on texas legalization 2021 and let us know what you think.
Texas’ compassionate use program for medical cannabis is about to get (a little) more compassionate, thanks to changes signed by the state’s governor this week.
In 2015, Texas passed the Compassionate Use Act, which for the first time allowed for the legal consumption of low-THC cannabis products in the state. The program was very restrictive, allowing only cannabidiol (CBD) preparations that contained no more than 0.5% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Originally, the compassionate use program applied only to patients with intractable epilepsy.
But in 2019, HB 3703 went into effect, slightly expanding the program to include patients diagnosed with seizures, spasticity in MS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, autism, terminal cancer, or an incurable neurodegenerative disease.
On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 1535, which further expands the program. HB 1535, which takes effect in September, will also allow patients with PTSD and all types of cancer – not just terminal – to receive assistance. In addition, the limit for the THC content is raised from 0.5% to 1%.
Although the governor’s signature did not come with much fanfare, Governor Abbott announced his support for the bill last week when he announced in a tweet:
Veterans may be eligible for medical marijuana under the new law. I’ll sign it.
The bill also calls for the establishment of institutional review boards to evaluate and approve proposed research programs to investigate the medical use of low-THC cannabis.
HB 1535 has come a long way since it was filed last March.
For more information on the Texas Compassionate Use Program, which has not yet been updated to reflect HB 1535 because it does not take effect until September, click here.
A database of doctors licensed to prescribe low-THC cannabis can be found here. Physicians who wish to prescribe cannabis must be registered with the state and licensed in the medical specialty relevant to the treatment of the patient’s particular condition, or certified by a recognized board of experts.
Texas patients must purchase low-THC cannabis products from a licensed dispensary, and smokable cannabis is not allowed under the program. In the Lone Star State, as of 2017, only 3 drug delivery organizations – Fluent, Compassionate Cultivation and goodblend – are licensed.The Texas Medical Cannabis Program (TxMCP) is a state-run program that allows qualifying patients to purchase and use medical cannabis. The program is classified as “compassionate program” as the patient’s primary care physician must issue a recommendation for the patient to obtain a medical cannabis card. The doctor must also sign the TxMCP registry card.. Read more about texas house bill 1535 and let us know what you think.
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