Gov. Abbott signs expense that expands Texas' medical cannabis program

AUSTIN (Nexstar) – Government Greg Abbott has drafted a bill to extend the conditions that will qualify under the state's medical marijuana program.

The Texas Texas Compassionate Use Program currently serves only Texas patients with intractable epilepsy. House Bill 3703, filed by Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth, expands the Texas Compassionate Use Program to serve patients with terminal cancer, autism, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, seizure failure, and incurable neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disease. The changes will take effect on September 1.

When the bill cleared the Texas Senate at the end of May, Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, said the law was about compassion.

"This is a success for those patients we believe at this time, medical cannabis, CBD oil can help," Campbell said. "It's not about," is this a paradise for healing the disease process? "It's about" will this CBD oil help relieve pain, help relieve spasticity, help relieve some of the muscular problems people may have? "We don & # 39; ve got good data, but there are many case studies and I hope it helps."

Medical marijuana supporters say they hope lawmakers will consider adding other relationships to the program in future. Lawmakers said they wanted to see more scientific studies conducted on issues such as PTSD before including it as a qualifying condition under the program.

"Today is a positive day for Texas and for Texans whose disorders can be alleviated through safe, legal access to the medical CBD," Morris Denton, chief executive of the dispensary Compassionate Cultivation, said. "And while we want to see even wider legal access to this life-changing medicine ̵[ads1]1; especially our veterans and others suffering from PTSD – we are encouraged by this positive step our lawmakers, Lt. Governor and Governor take to expand the Compassionate Use Program." 19659002] Other groups echo a similar feeling.

"Cannabis is effective medicine for many patients suffering from disturbing medical conditions," said Heather Fazio, director of Texans for responsible marijuana policy, in an email. "HB 3703 represents a positive step towards a functional medical cannabis program, but unfortunately, millions of Texas families still benefit from legal access to the Compassionate Use Program."

HB 3703 holds Texas' current dose limit of .5 percent THC. The Texas Department of Public Safety will continue to monitor and regulate the program.

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