Texas Expands Medical Marijuana Program, but Some Limitations Still Exist
In May, Texas failed to enact a policy to decriminalize marijuana and at least patch one hole in the sinking ship that is prohibition. This may spell bad news for illegal users, but medical marijuana just received some better news.
Thanks the dedication of a few lawmakers – some having worked in the health field – a new bill was created that increased the number of eligible conditions from just one to a total of six, according to Dallas News.
Although it is not as extensive as the criteria list in many other states, this expansion is a huge victory for Texans who need the drug.
House Bill 3703
Labeled “House Bill 3703,” this Texas medical marijuana expansion is explosive in its scope. Until the bill goes into effect in September of 2019, current law states that only those with severe forms of epilepsy can access medical cannabis.
Now, according to Dallas News:
“[Governor] Abbott signed House Bill 3703 on Friday. Beginning Sept. 1, specialty doctors will be able to prescribe medical marijuana to treat multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, terminal cancer, autism, and many kinds of seizure disorders.”
The bill was positively received by proponents, but there was one issue. Heather Fazio of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy said:
“Cannabis is effective medicine for many patients suffering from debilitating medical conditions. HB 3703 represents a positive step toward a functional medical cannabis program, but sadly, it still leaves behind millions of Texas families that could benefit from legal access.”
The Bill’s main author, Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth, used to work as a registered nurse. Her bill’s sponsor, Republican representative Donna Campbell is also a trained emergency room doctor. Campbell explains the bills still limited scope:
“I’m narrowly crafting this so it gives us some assurance and so we don’t race into something with unintended consequences.”
This could be relating to abuse from people taking advantage of a medical marijuana system that is too broad or generic.
Despite being legal, medical marijuana in Texas remains on a tight leash. Dallas News explains:
“[Medical cannabis can] only contain low levels of the psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. These products cannot be smoked. In Texas, the state’s only dispensary offer medical marijuana only in oil and inhaler forms.”
What lawmakers do not realize is that some individuals require high THC strains to deal with their symptoms. Consequently, the current products may not be enough, even if the patients fall within one of the eligible categories.
WeedAdvisor’s Hope for Medical Marijuana Progress
Full legalization may be popular in some states, but in places like Texas, such an option is not even on the table. This is why we view any expansion of medical marijuana access as a positive step forward.
As the industry expands, WeedAdvisor intends to play an integral part, offering a variety of solutions to ensure compliance and support licensed dispensaries.