Texas Bill to Expand Qualifying Conditions for Medical Cannabis Clears Committee

Legislation to expand medical cannabis access in Texas is moving through the state Legislature.

The House Public Health Committee approved House Bill 1805 March 20, which would expand the list of qualifying conditions to include any condition that causes chronic pain for individuals and would otherwise require an opioid prescription, according to the bill text.

The measure would replace the 1% THC limit for cannabis oil with a volumetric dose of 10 milligrams; however, the legislation as introduced would have increased the THC limit from 1% to 5% by dry weight, but the committee adopted an amendment to opt for the volumetric dose instead.

The Texas House of Representatives also unanimously approved H.B. 218 by a 9-0 vote March 7, which would decriminalize small amounts of cannabis possession, CHRON news reported.

Under the Compassionate Use Act, which Texas lawmakers passed in 2015, physicians can prescribe low-THC cannabis to patients with qualifying medical conditions. The legislation initially only applied to individuals with epilepsy but has since expanded to include seizure disorder, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, autism, cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, and incurable neurodegenerative disease, according to the Texas State Law Library.

According to CHRON news, H.B. 1805 will now be scheduled for consideration by the House of Representatives, and a similar measure was introduced in the Senate.

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