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Texas Governor Signs Bill to Expand Medical Cannabis Program

By June 17, 2019 No Comments

matthew-t-rader-1280938-unsplashGovernor of Texas, Greg Abbott, signed into law House Bill 3703 which added several health conditions to the state’s medical cannabis program. The health conditions which are on the specific list qualify a patient to receive cannabis medications. Only intractable epilepsy was covered by the state’s medical cannabis program before Gov. Abbot signed into law the addition of terminal cancer, autism, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, seizure disorders, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s Disease. The Compassionate Care Use Act of 2015 began the state’s medical cannabis program with the initial and exclusively covered health condition of intractable epilepsy.

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Senator Donna Campbell, after the bill made it through the Texas Senate last month, stated: “This is a success for those patients that we think at this point, medical cannabis, CBD oil, will help. It’s not about ‘is this a panacea to help cure the disease process?’ It’s about ‘will this CBD oil help alleviate pain, help alleviate spasticity, help alleviate some of the muscular problems that people can have?’ We don’t have great data, but there’s a lot of case studies and I hope it helps.”

Advocates hope PTSD and other health conditions will be added onto the approved conditions list, while legislators want to see more studies on done on PTSD. Legislators did say that they are open to the addition of more health conditions.

House Bill 3703 did not change the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) dosage restriction of .5% and also kept The Texas Department of Public Safety the department in charge and responsible for the medical cannabis program.

Heather Fazio, director of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, stated: “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 to the Compassionate Use Program.”

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