Updated on April 26, 2018. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Texas medical marijuana laws state that only those suffering from severe forms of epilepsy can access cannabidiol (CBD) to relieve their symptoms. There are only three dispensaries in the state that are allowed to grow cannabis and distribute medicine that is low in THC. However, there has been somewhat encouraging progress toward not only expanding medical marijuana access but also to lessen the punishments given to those possessing small amounts of the plant.
A big change came in September 2017 when the state of Texas issued its first medical marijuana growing license to Cansortium Texas. There are more growing licenses in the works, which could mean more large changes for the medical marijuana program in Texas.
Advocates throughout the state not only want the expansion of medical marijuana laws in Texas, but they also demand that current laws be modified. One state representative, for example, introduced a bill in the 2016 legislative session that would make possession of an ounce or less of weed a civil infraction punishable by a fine of no more than $250 — similar to a traffic violation. Even though the bill was not passed, it was a powerful statement that individuals should not have to face arrest, jail time and a criminal conviction for simply possessing a small amount of pot.
Several bills have again been filed in the 2017 session that would decriminalize small amounts of possession. But even though momentum is building, most legislative observers believe there is little chance that decriminalization efforts will succeed. More than likely, marijuana laws in Texas will remain the same for the foreseeable future.
However, major progress toward a sensible marijuana policy is being made in Harris County, which incorporates the largest city in the state, Houston. The city’s police chief, Art Acevado, is on record as saying he was in support of reforming Texas marijuana laws and can see a day where — at the very least — the state’s medical marijuana laws are expanded to include other cannabis products and other medical conditions.
As far as the decriminalization movement is concerned, Acevado said he’s in favor of implementing a similar program to one he spearheaded as the chief of police in Austin. The program was designed to give low-level weed dealers the option of entering a program and changing their lives, basically a type of “second chance” program. If they were able to prove they had changed, their charges would be set aside. If they didn’t, then the charges would be reinstated. In addition, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in January that her office would no longer seek jail sentences for people convicted of possessing small amounts of cannabis.
At MarijuanaDoctors.com, we believe that everyone in the United States of America should be able to access cannabis, which research has proven time and time again to provide medicinal value. If an ultra-conservative state such as Texas can show progress — no matter how slow it may be — toward changing its attitude in regard to marijuana, then there may be hope for other areas of the country. We’ll keep an eye on developments pertaining to Texas medical marijuana laws and continue to keep you updated. Check back often with us for more information.