Last year, the governor of Texas, Greg Abbot, signed into
law the Texas Compassionate Use Act. This was a huge
win since Texas is one of the most conservative states
within the country. The state will be opening up dispensaries
this year for medical cannabis.
This program already has a lot of restrictions on it for
entrepreneurs and others wanting to enter the market that need
to be known.
- Requirements for low cannabinoid content
Patients are able to only access low-THC-cannibis under the
Texas Compassionate Use Act. This means that the cannabis
can contain ten percent or more of cannabidiol (CBD) and
no more than half a percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
The CBD is non-pshychoactive and has been shown to benefit
many conditions, mostly seizures. On the other hand, THC can
help patients with pain but produces a psychoactive effect, also
known as a “high”.
- Qualifying Conditions are Limited
The new Texas law only allows a regulated medical cannabis
supply to those patients with intractable epilepsy. While the
family affected by the medical condition are praising the law,
others say that not enough people that could benefit from
medical cannabis are included.
Many believe that the Texas law should include other conditions
such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain.
Those suffering from the conditions often feel trapped in a
prison of their pharmaceutical drugs, especially those that
produce negative side effects. The risk of suicide linked to
antidepressants, the rise of deaths from painkillers, and
success stories from those already using medical cannabis
are the main points cited by proponents of allowing more
people to access the medical cannabis.
- Registry Created, then Licensing
Based on the timeline provided by the state, the applications
for a license for the “dispensing organization” will not be available
until after the registry for patients and physicians is created.
Physicians that desire to prescribe medical cannabis to their
patients, according to the Texas law, must be authorized first
by the state and then join a registry. It is also required by law
for the physicians to write a prescription for cannabis, including
administration instructions, dosage recommendations, and
the specific amount and refills that will be allowed for the patient.
Licenses will be issued by the Texas Public Safety Commission (TPSC),
who will also regulate businesses that will be cultivating, processing,
and dispensing cannabis. According to the law, TPSC is required to
issue at least three licenses by Sept 1, 2017 for dispensing cannabis.