Presently, people only with intractable (drug-resistant) epilepsy are allowed to opt for medical cannabis in Texas. However, with the passage of House Bills 3703 and 1365, the medical marijuana landscape in Texas is all set to change, although a little late.
The two cannabis bills, passed by the Texas House of Representatives, will now allow medical marijuana access to a diverse set of patients:
While HB 3703 would add multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and spasticity to the list of qualifying debilitating conditions, HB 1365 would include autism, Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s Disease, muscular dystrophy, Huntington’s disease, PTSD and Parkinson’s disease.
Furthermore, the latter bill also decriminalizes a parent administering medical marijuana to “a child for whom the medical marijuana was recommended.”
HB 3703 which was introduced to the House Floor by Rep. Stephanie Klick, who is also a registered nurse, told her counterparts in a speech on Tuesday, “I have seen the advantages of expanding the condition list.” She added that more data is required to see if this medication helps other conditions.
“Our state-of-the-art research facilities here in Texas are well suited to participate in this research.” Notably, the bill passed 133-10 the following day.
Not many people know this but Rep. Klick was the one behind the passage of the original Compassionate Use Act too that made only intractable epilepsy the only qualifying condition for a patient to receive medical cannabis.
At present, only three dispensaries are allowed to operate in the Lone Star State. However, HB 3703 can increase the number to 12 “if the Texas Department of Public Safety determines more dispensaries are required to meet the patients’ needs,” says an article published in Texas Tribune.
Both bills now would now undergo further debate by the Senate.