The Texas House of Representatives voted today to expand the state’s limited medical marijuana program by a vote of 121-23.
Pending a third reading and another vote, HB 1365, authored by Rep. Eddie Lucio III (D-Brownsville), the legislation heads to the Senate next where Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick will likely ultimately decide the bill’s fate.
This legislation was previously on the verge of dying in the Calendars committee, however it was voted out and scheduled in the final days. If passed by the Senate and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, the bill greatly increases the number of patients with debilitating conditions who would be eligible to participate in the Texas Compassionate Use Program (TCUP), which was passed into law during the 2015 legislative session. Additionally, it will create a panel appointed by Gov. Abbott which would make decisions on other qualifying conditions, and would have the ability to increase THC limits. The current limit is set to 0.5 percent, which limits patients to using CBD oil.
Conditions which would now qualify for participation in TCUP should the bill become law include cancer, autism, PTSD, and neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Tourette 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.
In all, well over a million Texans could benefit from TCUP with this expansion.
Since its inception in 2015, TCUP has been extremely limited in scope, serving only patients with intractable epilepsy who have already ruled