Medical Marijuana in Texas
On June 1, 2015, Governor Abbot signed Senate Bill 339, a limited medical marijuana bill, into law. Known as the Texas Compassionate Use Act, it is intended to allow some qualifying patients to access “low-THC cannabis,” marijuana that contains 10% or more cannabidiol (CBD) and not more than 0.5% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Intractable epilepsy was originally the only medical condition that could qualify patients to participate in the program.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) was tasked to develop the administrative rules for the program which includes the requirements for state-regulated businesses known as “Dispensing Organizations” to cultivate, process, and distribute low-THC cannabis. In December 2017, the first vertically-integrated licenses to dispense, cultivate, or process marijuana to fulfill the 2015 Compassionate Use Act were granted.
As of January 2018, no patients qualified to access medical marijuana products and only eleven (11) physicians had registered to participate in the program. The program also requires physicians to “prescribe” medical marijuana as opposed to “recommending” it to patients; this distinction puts physicians at risk.
On July 14, 2019, House Bill 3703 was signed into law to expand the Texas’ Compassionate Use Program. House Bill 3703 purpose was to help the existing medical marijuana program grow by allowing more qualifying patients to join the program and by making the process to become a registered patient easier. The bill expanded the list of qualifying medical conditions and required the approval of one physician instead of two to become a registered patient. The new law added all seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, ALS, autism, terminal cancer, and an incurable neurodegenerative disease as qualifying medical conditions.
As a result of the passage of House Bill 3703, the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Compassionate Use Program began accepting applications for Dispensing Organization licenses on October 1, 2019, with intent to accept applications through November 1, 2019. However, on October 9, 2019, the Department rescinded the application forms and information with no explanation or indication if/when applications will resume. Fortunately, in 2021, HB 1535 was signed into law, which authorizes the increase of maximum levels of THC from 0.5% to 1% and further expands patient qualifications to include all forms of cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”).
Qualifying Medical Conditions
Intractable Epilepsy, All Seizure Disorders, Multiple Sclerosis, Spasticity, ALS, Autism, Terminal Cancer, an Incurable Neurodegenerative Disease, All Forms of Cancer, and PTSD.
Medical Marijuana Business Licenses
Currently, there is not an open application process for Medical Marijuana Business Licenses in Texas. However, with HB 1535 expanding the medical marijuana framework, there will likely be an open application process in the near future. We will update the site once the application process does open up again. You can provide your information here to be notified once the application process does open up again. If you are interested in acquiring a Texas Medical Marijuana Treatment Center License, then contact us to discuss your options.