The state of Texas passed around its own limited medical marijuana law when 2018 officially lit; however, the program is viewed as being so restrictive that there are currently hazy doubts regarding who will actually partake, if anyone at all.
One of the concerns involves the license fees to grow marijuana, which ranks highest in the United States – $500,000 (approximately 80 times more than the originally recommended amount). What might be chump change for the Texas Coke brothers’ line item interests, burns down other business hopefuls in a puff of smoke. The program will be rolling out with a total of only eight potential participating donors, despite Texas’ 27 million population. Additionally, access is believed to be limited to a small patient roll-out who have been diagnosed with conditions such as intractable epilepsy, all of whom have tried at least two other types of medical treatments first.
This token ‘Compassionate Use Act,’ requires two epileptic neurologists to officially sign off on a prescription; however, it can be especially hard to hit this requirement since there are currently only eight participating physicians throughout the state.
A bill that expanded access to cannabis containing low amounts of THC drew support from both Democrats and Republicans during a 2017 lawmaking session. The bill even emerged with a 7-2 vote from the House Public Health Committee as well. Despite this, the bill was not able to receive a floor debate.
With the stakes ever higher for patients in need, Texans wonder whether their electorate is stuck in the weeds on what compassion really means.
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