Update: The 86th Legislative Session has advanced a marijuana bill expanding the list of medical conditions that can be treated legally by cannabis in this state to all forms of epilepsy, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), terminal cancer, autism and incurable neurodegenerative diseases. Additionally, the bill eliminates the requirement of approval from two licensed neurologists, rather than one.
The 84th Texas legislative session was historic in the movement to improve marijuana laws in Texas. All told, there were five bills that would have reduced penalties for possession of marijuana, one of which would have completely legalized access for adults. In addition, there were four bills to provide legal access to medical marijuana. A very limited medical marijuana bill — now the Compassionate Use Program Act — was signed into law and will be discussed below.
Intends to allow qualified patients access to low-THC cannabis
“Low-THC cannabis” means the plant Cannabis sativa L., and any part of that plant or any compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, preparation, resin, or oil of that plant that contains:
(A) not more than 0.5 percent by weight of tetrahydrocannabinols (THC); and
(B) not less than 10 percent by weight of cannabidiol (CBD).
A qualified patient: suffers from intractable epilepsy; is a permanent resident of Texas: a qualified physician determines the risk of the medical use of low-THC cannabis by a patient is reasonable in light of the potential benefit for the patient; and a second qualified physician has concurred with the determination.
Qualified doctors may prescribe marijuana to qualified patients. A qualified doctor is a doctor who has joined a specific physician registry, where information such as dosage recommendations, patient name and d.o.b., means of administration, total amount of cannabis required to fill patients prescriptions, number of refills, and an order issuing a licensed, regulated business to distribute the cannabis are available.
A licensed regulated business, otherwise known as a dispensing organization authorized, by the department of public safety, to cultivate, process, and distribute low-THC cannabis.
The holder of a dispensing organization license may perform any one or all of the regulated functions: cultivate, process or dispense.
As dispensing organizations become licensed, a list will be posted on Compassionate Use Program Licensing & Registration.
Through the Department of Public Safety, who has until September of 2017 to issue at least three licenses to dispensing organizations. The number of licenses that may be issued are unlimited.
The price shall be set by each individual dispensing organization.
The application to submit a license is $6,000.
A two-year license is $6,000.
Dispensing organizations will be required to have minimum security measures in place, maintain records and operational standards, and be subject to periodic inspections by the department. Low-THC cannabis must be tracked though an inventory control system and must be tested and packaged according to state standards.
The inventory control system is provided by the dispensing organization, and subject to state inspection.
The following are tentative dates for DPS’ program development:
January – May 2016
DPS will competitively solicit Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) vendors for the development and implementation of a technology solution for the administration of the Compassionate Use Program. This webpage will be updated when the DIR pricing request is solicited.
Vendor contract to be awarded.
Development begins for the Compassionate Use Registry, an online database. Dispensing organizations will be able to submit licensing applications after completion of the online system.
DPS will license first dispensing organization.
Yes. Directors, managers, and employees must register and must be at least 18 years old, submit a full set of fingerprints, and pass a criminal background check. Registration last two years from the day issued.
The patient or the patient’s legal caregiver.
No. The law does not require patients to register or pay a fee. Patient information will be retained in the Compassionate Use Registry. A qualified physician will enter a patient’s name, date of birth, low-THC dosage prescribed and means of administration into the Compassionate Use Registry.
No. Only licensed dispensers will be able grow cannabis and only for use in the production of low-THC cannabis. Patients are required to purchase low-THC cannabis products from a licensed dispensing organization.
No. Texas Occupations Code §169.001 specifically prohibits ingesting low-THC by smoking.
Disclaimer: This information is for informative purposes and does not establish a legal relationship. Contact us now to learn more.
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