By Dalton Rosario
The Lone Star State is revving up for 2019 legislation that would expand their statewide medical cannabis program by making it easier for patients to receive the medication they need. Texas’ legislature meets once every two years and with January marking their next session, much consideration has gone into the cannabis landscape as of late. For starters there is the 2018 Farm Bill and its provisions for industrial hemp cultivation and CBD legalization. Furthermore, lawmakers are adding qualifying conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana - such as PTSD, Parkinson’s and autism - contingent upon continued research gathered by universities and hospitals valuing the benefits of its implementation.
Currently doctors in Texas can only prescribe cannabis if their practice serves a quota of epilepsy patients - the predominant qualifying condition for medical marijuana as a last resort option if two prior forms of anti-seizure medications prove futile according to The Texas Compassionate Use Act of 2015. If all of these qualifiers are met, before a prescription can be written there must be a secondary doctor registered with Texas’ Department of Safety who co-signs the treatment regiment, verifying the prescription.
Given current trends and growing developments within the U.S. cannabis industry, these legislative loopholes create unreasonable hurdles for denying patients access to low THC, high CBD derivates compared to the ease of access found in other states across our country that have wholly embraced medicinal cannabis programs and their extensive legislative infrastructures.