The Texas House approved a bill that would allow for more access to the state’s medical cannabis program.
In April 2023, the Texas house passed legislation that would expand eligibility to individuals who suffer from chronic pain (1).
HB 1805 (2), was sponsored by Representative Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth. Klick also chairs the House Public Health Committee. In 2015, Texas created the “Compassionate Use” law which has since expanded the types of conditions Texas patients can qualify for legal cannabis usage in the program.
The new bill includes chronic pain patients who originally would require an opioid prescription to be eligible for a 10 mg dosage of cannabis from their doctor. Those who suffer from autism, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), cancer, epilepsy, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), have already been included in the program. HB 1805, passed 127-19 and now heads to the Senate. Although there was some votes not in favor of the bill, no debate occurred on the House floor.
The Department of Public Safety, who manages the online registry of qualified physicians who can prescribe medical cannabis, reports that over 50,000 Texans are utilizing the program as of March 2023 (1). In this program, only 707 physicians are legally allowed to prescribe cannabis.
Included in the bill, the definition of “low-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabis” would be changed to 10 mg. Currently, cannabis products are limited to 1% THC by weight. If HB 1805 passes in the Senate, the law could take effect on September 1, 2023 (3).