A bill expanding the list of qualifying debilitating conditions for medical marijuana in Texas has received its initial go-ahead.
Until now, only patients with intractable epilepsy were eligible to apply. However, with the passage of House Bill 1365, patients suffering from Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), muscular dystrophy and autism can also opt for the state medical marijuana program.
In addition, the bill would also increase the number of dispensaries — the Texas Department of Public Safety can authorize — from three to twelve.
The House gave initial approval to the bill 121-23 after just a few minutes of debate.
The bill states that no medical marijuana product can contain over 0.5% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound responsible for giving users a ‘high’. This figure is just a little over the 0.3% cap set by most of the other states, which use hemp for deriving their medical marijuana products.
Furthermore, a review board of medical professionals would also be set up, whose primary task would be to provide guidance on “sound dosages and formulations.”
The earlier version of HB 1365 had intended to lift the THC cap entirely, citing that the doctors and not the state should decide how much of the psychoactive compound a patient would need. This proposed rule, however, met with criticism from the Republicans; thus, Lucio had to amend it to include a cap.
This piece of news has come as a relief for not only patients but also the three licensed companies that are presently serving a limited customer base. In fact, Texas’ rules on the potency of products are so strict that the aforesaid companies are mainly selling cannabidiol (CBD)-infused products.
Most of the health wonders of marijuana have been attributed to CBD. As a result, many CBD-infused health and wellness products are sold over-the-counter and have taken the entire country by storm.