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Texas Medical Marijuana

Updated on July 5, 2019.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Texas Medical Marijuana Program: Contact Details

Texas Department Of Public Safety
Phone (512) 424-8145
Contact: RSD Contact Form
Website: Texas Department Of Public Safety

Medical Marijuana Program: Information

  1. Patient must be at least 18 and a permanent resident of the state of Texas. If a patient is under 18 years of age, the patient may require a legal guardian.
  2. A patient is diagnosed with a Qualifying Condition as outlined by the Texas Department of Safety
  3. Patient must be evaluated by a qualified physician to determine if the patient would benefit from low-THC cannabis and that the benefits outweigh the risks.
  4. If the patient is approved, the patient must be registered to the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT) by the physician who recommends Low-THC.
  5. Patients do not need a written certification since physician will enter the prescription into CURT for the Dispensary to validate.

Medical Marijuana in Texas

When Governor Greg Abbott signed off on SB 339 in June 2015, the Texas medical marijuana program was created — such as it is. The program is extremely limited and, critics say, unworkable. It allows only people suffering from severe epilepsy to participate, and they only have access to cannabidiol (CBD) oil that is extremely low in THC content. The medicinal cannabis available in Texas can have no more than 0.5 percent THC, according to the Texas Occupations Code Sec 169.001.

But there are several other facets of the program that make it very disappointing to advocates of medical cannabis. The law requires that doctors must first join a registry before they can recommend CBD to their patients. They must provide information such as the dosages they recommend, how those dosages will be administered and how much cannabis is needed to fulfill the patient’s needs.

To qualify for the program, a patient must be a Texas resident who has been diagnosed with severe epilepsy. He or she must go to a doctor who devotes a substantial amount of practice to epilepsy diagnosis and treatment, and the doctor must be certified in either neurology or epilepsy by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. The patient must also have received at least two traditional treatments for seizures, and it must be shown that those treatments were not effective.

Recent Legislation Changes

As legislation changes in Texas, check back to this section for information about how those legislative changes will affect the prospect of medical marijuana in Texas.

June 2019 – HB 1325 is signed into law authorizing the regulatory program be developed for cultivation and sale of hemp and hemp related products. Texas Department of Agriculture will oversee and be responsible for the administration and development of the legislation. On June HB 3703 is signed into law, approving more medical conditions eligible for Low-THC Medical Cannabis as well as increasing eligible physicians.

2018 – Federal Farm Bill of 2018 allows individual states ti regulate hemp and hemp related products including CBD, through a state’s department of agriculture. After regulatory plans are submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or allowing the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop the regulatory program. This is the only way that hemp-derived products are legal under federal law.

2017 – Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (2017) goes live on September 1st. Qualified physicians are able to use the system to register with DPS and to recommend low-THC cannabis to intractable epilepsy patients.

2015 – Texas legislature enacts HB892, the Compassionate Use Act.  Allows patients suffering from intractable epilepsy to utilize CBD & Low THC oil as an alternative treatment method. It’s sister bill is SB 339,

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There have been efforts among some state legislators to take a common-sense approach to expanding access to medical marijuana in Texas.

Bills have been introduced to not only increase the number of qualifying conditions, but also to expand the types of marijuana that will be available.

However, as long as Texas government continues to be dominated by hardline conservatives who refuse to consider the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, it is extremely doubtful that any real progress can be made.

Texas Marijuana Laws

Texas continues to be extremely tough on marijuana possession. Merely possessing two ounces or less of weed can land you in jail for up to six months and also result in a fine of up to $2,000. Those penalties are doubled if you are caught with between two and four ounces. Possessing between four ounces and five pounds is a felony offense that carries a jail sentence of between six months and two years, as well as a fine of as much as $10,000.

But there has been at least a bit of movement in some areas of the state to change these draconian laws. The district attorney of Harris County (where Houston is located), said in 2016 that her office would stop prosecuting minor pot offenses. Kim Ogg said that people caught with small amounts of weed will instead have to attend a four-hour drug education class. She told Forbes that the county has spent more than $250 million on prosecuting this “crime,” and the county has seen no evidence that it has helped improve the quality of public safety.

Also in 2017, a state legislator filed a bill to reduce the penalty for possessing an ounce or less of weed to a civil fine rather than jail time. SB 269 and HB 2107 would authorize the possession, use, cultivation, transportation, distribution, and delivery of medical cannabis for qualifying patients.  Again, however, it is very unlikely that such a bill can succeed as long as the Legislature is dominated by ultra-conservative lawmakers. More information can be found in our Texas marijuana law section.

In September 2017, it was announced that the first few licenses would be granted for medical marijuana growers. Cansortium Texas is the first company to officially receive a medical marijuana license. This could mean a change of heart for the restrictive medical marijuana program in the state of Texas.

Texas Qualification

Find out Who Qualifies for Marijuana in Texas in our definitive guide of Texas’s qualification guidelines. Read up on medical conditions that are covered under Texas’s medical marijuana program, age restrictions, criminal conviction restrictions, and more.

Texas Medical Marijuana Laws

Read Texas’s Full Medical Marijuana Laws to gain full specific knowledge of Texas’s exact legal guidelines without interpretation.

Texas Medical Marijuana Card

Find out how to obtain a(n) Texas Medical Marijuana Card with our guide to Texas’s state medicinal marijuana ID program. Some states require that you obtain your card prior to obtaining your medicine, so read here first to ensure that you know Texas’s requirements.

Dispensaries in Texas

Learn more about dispensaries in Texas by checking out our listings in your city:

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