Proponents of medical marijuana in Texas cheered what they viewed as a small but significant step forward in February, when the first legal sales of products containing a non-psychoactive extract of the plant began under the state’s highly restrictive medical cannabis law.
But they’re recoiling two months later, as a state health agency considers a proposal that could strip from Texas store shelves all other foods and food supplements advertising marijuana extracts as ingredients.
The plan would put cannabidiol, known as CBD, out of reach for most Texans, because the state’s medical cannabis law — called the Compassionate Use Act — allows only licensed Texas dispensaries to sell the extract and only patients suffering from a single, rare ailment to buy it.
“That is going to be a really awful day for a lot of people” if the state goes through with the proposal, said Becky Tyson, who along with her husband owns White Dragon Botanicals on Burnet Road and sells a variety of products infused with CBD oil.
“It will effect a lot of people tremendously,” Tyson said. “A lot of people have turned to these natural alternatives, rather than just using pharmaceuticals, and they’ve found great relief.”
CBD — which doesn’t produce a high — has been gaining in popularity nationwide as a treatment for all manner of ailments, including chronic pain, anxiety, seizures and sleep disorders. But it remains illegal under federal law, as does tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is the component of the marijuana plant that is