Photo Ed Schipul
Regulations on cannabis in Texas are so severe that one lawmaker joked it’s more regulated than plutonium.
Medical marijuana exists in Texas, the reddest of red states, the homeland of Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Steve Austin, and attitudes bigger than the average cowboy belt buckle. In 2015, Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Texas’s own Compassionate Use Act, which allows people suffering from incurable epilepsy to access low-THC, high-CBD oils after receiving approval from two doctors. In other words, Texas’s medical-marijuana program doesn’t offer much, and what little it does offer will be available to only a select few.
Even that tiny bone might not be thrown, if no marijuana producers willing to abide by the Texas-sized rules and regulations for the program can be found. And considering that Texas will only hand out three grow licenses—with a bill to the state of almost $500,000 due up front, cash needed to pay for a mandatory 24-hour security presence by Texas state troopers—that’s a serious concern. “They’re regulating it more than plutonium, for God’s sake,” cannabis advocate Heather Fazio, of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, told The Denver Post’s Cannabist.
This is hyperbole, of course—if it were true, the worldwide marijuana trade would have to find a distribution method other than the U.S. mails, and commercial airline flights wouldn’t be de-facto courier services. That’s also the point: This isn’t fissionable material that America buys from Russia. It’s weed. It’s a plant that grows wild, even in Texas.