The winding road that leads to Compassionate Cultivation could easily be mistaken for a dead end. It takes several seconds before drivers get off the main road and end up at a warehouse immediately surrounded by a dirt lot.
In a few months, however, scientists and manufacturers working out of this warehouse in Austin will begin legally growing marijuana.
“Soon we’ll have a variety of products that’ll be available that’ll tailor to the different needs of our patients,” said Morris Denton, the CEO for Compassionate Cultivation.
This comes after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a measure in 2015 to narrowly allow for the growing or sale of marijuana. The Texas Compassionate Use Act legalized the selling of a specific kind of cannabis oil derived from marijuana plants for a very small group of customers: epilepsy patients whose symptoms have not responded to federally approved medication.
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The law allows for the sale of oils with low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive element in marijuana, and high levels of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-euphoric component known to treat epilepsy and other chronic medical conditions. The Compassionate Use Act tasked the Texas Department of Public Safety with licensing at least three dispensing organizations by Sept. 1, 2017.
Two weeks after that deadline, only one dispensary has received final approval. Two other dispensaries — Surterra Texas and Compassionate Cultivation — are still “under review for statutory compliance,” according to DPS spokesman Tom Vinger.