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Home»News»Amended medical marijuana bill passes committee unanimously Stephen Carter 2019-04-18

Austin, Texas – A bill which would expand Texas’ medical marijuana program has passed out of the House Committee on Public Health with unanimous support.

HB 1365, filed by Rep. Eddie Lucio III (D-Brownsville), would expand the Texas Compassionate Use Program (TCUP) to include more qualifying conditions and would allow more doctors to work with patients in the program. The legislation currently has the bi-partisan support of 56 state legislators as both authors and coauthors.

Conditions which would now qualify for participation in TCUP include cancer, autism, PTSD, and neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Tourrette syndrome. Other diseases include Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, muscular dystrophy, and multiple sclerosis.

Beyond specifically designated medical conditions, the bill also covers endocannabinoid deficiency, cachexia or wasting syndrome, neuropathy, severe nausea, seizures, severe and persistent muscle spasms, tic disorders, and any other approved medical condition or symptom caused by the treatment of a medical condition.

Since its inception in 2015, TCUP has been extremely limited in scope, serving only patients with intractable epilepsy who have already ruled out other medications, and permitting only certain specialist doctors to refer their patients to the program. This has caused very few patients, about 500, and roughly 50 doctors, to participate in TCUP. It also capped the THC percentage at 0.5 percent.

The bill was amended before being passed, and now includes establishing a Cannabis Therapeutic Research Review Board (CTRRB), adding an important in-state research program and requiring participating doctors to be educated on medical cannabis. The bill also offers patient protections such as parental rights, and protections for students

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Fibromyalgia and a stroke in my 20s leave me in chronic pain – but after my landmark cannabis prescription was overruled, I refuse to go back to my costly prescription.

In 1928, following centuries of cannabinoids being used in medicine, the UK made the decision to reclassify cannabis as an illegal substance based on its psychoactive effects, instead opting for other equally psychoactive compounds as legitimate medicine. Examples include anaesthetics, analgesics, anticonvulsants and anti-Parkinson drugs as well as medications used to treat neuropsychiatric disorders, such as antidepressants, anxiolytics, antipsychotics, and stimulant medications.

Though the House of Lords science and technology select committee first recommended legalising cannabis for medicinal use in 1998, it still took until 2018 for patients to get legal medicine into individual patients’ hands. That was a very long twenty years for patients who, in the interim, had to rely on pharmaceutical drugs with often devastating side effects.

– Read the entire article at Huffington Post.

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The Dallas County district attorney released a five page memo on Thursday stating that his office would no longer prosecute first-time marijuana misdemeanors. John Creuzot also announced that all in-process first-time misdemeanors that had been filed before his term in office will be thrown out, part of what he called “a step forward in ending mass incarceration in Dallas County.”

The memo addressed a variety of changes in enforcement priorities that go beyond marijuana offenders. Creuzot’s office will not be prosecuting individuals with small possession charges involving other drugs, people who drove with a suspended license, or anyone caught stealing “necessary” items.

“The criminal justice system has fallen disproportionately harshly on poor people and people of color, that’s just a fact,” Creuzot said to the Texas Observer. “The entire system is complicit in this dysfunction. We’re doing what we can within this office to address some of that.”

Shifts in policy were expected from Creuzot. He arrived to last year’s DA race promising to work on cash bail reform and shrink Dallas’ massive prison population, which sees the booking of around 67,000 people a year.

“Our current system is uncoupled from physical safety and fairness, as people sit in jail not because they pose an identifiable danger to the community, but because they cannot pay their fee to go home,” Creuzot wrote in the memo. “When low-income people are held in jail simply because they cannot afford a few hundred dollars, they lose their jobs, housing, stability, and cannot take care of their children: this makes our communities less safe.”

The Texas Department of Public Safety has released numbers stating that around 379,000 residents have been arrested in the last five years for…

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The non-psychoactive component of marijuana is the latest craze in alternative medicine. Even Walgreens and CVS plan to sell CBD products. But there’s one group that has yet to cash in on the CBD fever: Texas farmers.

Late last year, Congress opened the door to CBD and other hemp-derived products when it legalized industrial hemp.

But in order for farmers to grow it, states need to set up a system for regulating the industry. Forty-two states have already done so over the past three months, and Texas farmers are pushing for state lawmakers to do the same.

Eric Herm made the trip from family’s cotton farm in Lubbock to the Capitol to show his support for a bill that would allow him to grow industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity.

“You know if we make a hundred dollars an acre a year where we farm, that’s a good year for us, whereas the predictions are three to six hundred dollars an acre for hemp on the lower end,” Herm said.

Herm said there once was a dark cloud that hung over the idea of farming hemp, but now many farmers have no problem with it.

“There’s not a week that goes by here since this new year that I don’t have 10 to 12 guys every week ask me, ‘What’s happening with hemp, when are we going to get to grow hemp?’ Five years ago, even two years ago, no one was talking about it. But now more farmers have educated themselves and made themselves aware of the differences between hemp and marijuana,” Herm said.

And that grassroots-support only encourages lawmakers like State Rep. Tracy King. He’s a Democrat from Zavala County and one of six authors of legislation aimed at allowing hemp to be grown in the state and regulated by the Texas Department of Agriculture.

Hemp products
CREDIT RYAN POPPE | TEXAS PUBLIC RADIO

King said hemp is one of the most versatile crops in a global market.

“There’s certainly some viable uses in the construction industry for hemp for the fiber, hemp fiber and other products that come out of the hemp plant. You know, you can use the entire plant in some type of process with hemp,” King said.

And of course, there’s CBD oil in Texas.

In recent years, shops selling everything from candies infused with CBD to….

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The Texas Department of State Health Services has removed hemp from its list of dangerous drugs like cocaine and heroin, in effect making it legal to use, buy, sell and possess the plant and the CBD oil extracted from it in Texas.

The move comes after a similar decision through the farm bill of 2018 at the federal level.

Charles Spinks, the General Manager at CBD Kratom, a hemp and CBD shop in Dallas, said proponents of hemp and CBD oil are excited about the declassification of hemp from “Schedule 1” drugs.

Spinks said, “A lot of people will be more familiar, and it will become a more talked about thing definitely.”

Hemp is often times mistaken or confused for Marijuana because the two look and smell alike, but hemp lacks the THC component that makes a person feel high when consumed.

Stores that have been selling hemp and CBD products say they’re consumed in a variety of different forms to include creams and edibles and they’re used for a long list of ailments.

Legal experts say previously, those shops had been selling the products under a grey area of regulations, and many continued doing so because there has not been any formidable enforcement effort against it.

However, retailers and consumers will be free to sell and use now in Texas.

The declassification, according to legal experts, doesn’t allow the farming or manufacturing of hemp in the state, but it is a step in that direction.

Lisa Pittman, a leading attorney in….

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Lawmakers in the New Hampshire House of Representatives passed a bill last Thursday that would legalize the recreational use and sale of marijuana. Representatives voted to pass the measure, House Bill 481, by a margin of 200-163 after being approved by the Ways and Means Committee in late March.

If passed, HB 481 would legalize possession of up to one ounce of cannabis and up to five grams of hashish or concentrates for adults 21 and older. Home cultivation of up to six plants and possession of the cannabis harvested from a home garden would also be permitted. The bill would also establish a regulatory structure for commercial cannabis production and sales.

Matt Simon, the New England political director for cannabis reform advocacy group the Marijuana Policy Project, hailed the passage of the bill in a press release.

“We applaud the House for advancing this historic legislation with such strong support,” he said. “HB 481 would replace New Hampshire’s failed prohibition policy with a more sensible system in which cannabis sales are regulated and taxed.”

Simon also called on senators to pass the measure approved by their colleagues in the House.

“It’s time for the Senate to recognize that regulating

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Texas’ “Medical Marijuana” is not marijuana

The cannabis industry is full of paradoxes. One of the biggest lives in Texas. The paradox is this: In order to legally purchase non-intoxicating CBD oil in the state of Texas you have to be suffering from intractable epileptic seizures and have a prescription from a state-certified physician. Furthermore, it must be purchased from a dispensary run by one of only three licensed producers in the state. If you don’t have epilepsy, you don’t have a prescription, and you bought your CBD oil at an unlicensed shop, then, in the eyes of the law, you might as well be a dope user. Technically, the penalty for possession of CBD oil in Texas is the same as that for marijuana — a half a year in jail and a $2,000 fine — not to mention legal fees.

That probably sounds screwed up enough, but that’s just one half of the paradox. The other half is that anyone in Texas can easily obtain hemp CBD oil at any number of CBD boutiques throughout the state, especially in the larger cities such as Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and El Paso. And they can do this without being an epilepsy patient and without a prescription. How is this possible? Why isn’t the state arresting CBD merchants and their customers on a daily basis?

Another paradox is that the state’s so-called low-THC medical marijuana program doesn’t technically allow the cultivation or sale of marijuana products. Seriously. Ok, yes, while the national limit on THC in hemp CBD oil is 0.3 percent and the Texas medical cannabis law specifies 0.5 percent, those measly two-tenths of one percent of extra THC doesn’t really qualify the product as marijuana — at least in most people’s minds. It still wouldn’t get a fly high.

Unlicensed CBD oil can be iffy – do your homework

There is one important difference between the CBD oil prescribed to epilepsy patients and the CBD oil you can pull off the rack of your local smoke shop or purchase online — that is the safety and purity of the product.

While licensed producers must put their products through rigorous laboratory examination, the unlicensed products are not obligated to test their products. They may contain contaminants such as heavy metals, molds, pesticides, and other toxins. Furthermore, there’s no guarantee that these products contain the levels of CBD claimed by the manufacturers.

So, once again, why isn’t the department of health in Texas clamping down on these products if they have such a poor safety record? There are a couple of reasons.

For one thing, the U.S. federal government recently legalized hemp and the CBD oils derived therefrom. This ties at least one hand behind officials backs by making it near impossible to keep up with the influx of CBD products being produced in state’s where it’s legal.

Secondly, the manpower and financial resources required to enforce the rules across the board would be staggering. You can’t raid 50 shops and leave the other 950 (hypothetical numbers) to operate with impunity.

Texas Guide to Legal CBD

Resolving the Texas CBD Paradox

There are some efforts underway to resolve these paradoxes.

For one thing, lawmakers are pushing to legalize the cultivation of hemp in the state. But this raises the question, why should anyone want to get a license to grow the so-called low-THC “medicinal marijuana” when they can grow hemp with near the same levels of THC as the kind farmers can grow, and sell it to everyone instead of just epilepsy patients? So, wouldn’t that basically put the licensed producers out of business?

To try to solve for that lawmakers are also looking into expanding the list of medical conditions that allows patients to purchase the lab-tested species of CBD oil.  

One such effort is being spearheaded by State Rep. Stephanie Klick who authored the original Compassionate Use Act and shepherded the bill through the legislature back in 2015. Klick is now proposing the state should allow patients with multiple sclerosis, spasticity, all forms of epilepsy including non-intractable cases, and patients under palliative care to use CBD oil. Klick claims that these are the conditions which medical experts would like to see added.

These solutions are far from perfect. The ideal resolve to the paradoxes once and for all time would be to regulate CBD oil but make it available to all residents. But that would mean a bunch of politicians would have to admit that they’ve been wrong about CBD oil all along.



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At the age of 14, Joshua Haupt woke up in an ambulance. He was supposed to be in school, but he had suffered a seizure at the breakfast table. Later that day, Haupt was diagnosed with epilepsy.

That diagnosis eventually led Haupt down the path to become an entrepreneur in the cannabis industry. Today, Haupt, 32, is worth millions, including a 16 percent stake in Medicine Man Technologies.

Haupt, who lives in Denver, made his fortune after selling a cannabis guidebook company, Pono Publications, and marijuana nutrient line, Success Nutrients. In 2017, he sold both companies to cannabis consulting firm Medicine Man Technologies, for 7 million shares in Medicine Man. Haupt personally owns 4.4 million shares in Medicine Man, according to May 2017 SEC filings, which are currently worth about $9 million. (Medicine Man Technologies is a penny stock that trades on the over-the-counter market, which has less stringent requirements for listing than blue chip indexes and is typically a more volatile market.)

– Read the entire article at CNBC News.

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Amid a record-setting number of cannabis bill proposals being considered by the state’s lawmakers, Texas’ Department of State Health Services has announced that it will be removing hemp from its list of Schedule I drugs on Friday. Schedule I drugs are defined as substances with high potential for abuse and no medical use.

Texas’ marijuana movement has accelerated this year, seeing a flurry of activity on fronts from hemp rescheduling to decriminalization bills. Last week, decriminalization proposal HB 63 made it out of the House’s Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. On Monday, six bills that take a look at lightening penalties for marijuana possession are due to receive a public hearing in House committees.

Four other bills were also set to be considered on Monday that related to the regulation, licensing, and production of hemp products, and there is even a bill that is set for public hearing that relates to changing “marihuana” to “cannabis” when being referred to in state code. Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy has counted over 60 cannabis bills that have been introduced by the state’s lawmakers this year.

Department of Health Services commissioner John Hellerstedt announced on Monday that he had made an amendment to the state’s

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Home»News»Marijuana policy advocates gear up for busy week at capitol Stephen Carter 2019-04-01

It’ll be a busy time for marijuana policy advocates at the Texas capitol this week, complete with hearings, exhibits, and direct action.

On Monday, April 1 the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee will hear five bills which are aimed at reducing the penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Over a dozen bills have been introduced this session for that purpose, and one has already made it out of committee with bipartisan support. HB 63, introduced by Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso), would make possession of an ounce or less of marijuana a civil fine of $250 for the first two offenses, while each offense after would be charged as a Class C misdemeanor, which involves a $500 fine, arrest, and criminal record. HB 63 has garnered the support of 35 legislators already as both authors and co-authors. The first two offenses would not create a criminal record.

The House Agriculture & Livestock Committee will also hold a hearing on several hemp bills on Monday as well. Hemp is expected to be legalized in Texas this year following the plant’s legalization at the federal level.

On Tuesday, Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy will have an educational exhibit in the E2 Hallway of the capitol building to inform Texans about why Texas should move forward with reducing penalties for low-level marijuana possession. A similar exhibit was set up during the 2017 legislative session as well which highlighted the damage Texans incur due to current marijuana policy.

Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy will follow up on Wednesday by delivering fliers to the offices of state legislators. “It’s a

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