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More Texans may be eligible for state medical marijuana programs

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — More Texans could soon have access to the state’s medical marijuana program after the Texas legislature on Wednesday approved a bill expanding eligibility to those suffering from chronic pain. I have.

bipartisan legislation, HB1805, was sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Crick, R-Fort Worth, who is also chairman of the House Public Health Committee. Since creating the Compassionate Use Act in 2015, the state has expanded the types of conditions under which Texas patients can qualify for legal marijuana use under the program.

Crick’s bill adds entitlement to 10 milligrams of cannabis for patients suffering from chronic pain that would normally require an opioid prescription, according to doctors. People in Texas suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism, ALS, cancer and epilepsy are already covered by this program.

Her bill passed Wednesday by a vote of 127-19 and will go to the Senate. The bill was not debated in the House of Representatives, even though some lawmakers voted against it.

As of March 2023, there are more than 50,000 patients in Texas using the program, according to data from the Department of Public Safety, which oversees online registrations of licensed physicians who can prescribe medical cannabis. We are legally allowed to give prescriptions.

Crick’s bill also changes the definition of “low cannabis THC” to 10 milligrams. Cannabis products are currently limited to 1% he THC by weight. THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis that produces the “high” associated with marijuana use. However, patients who suffer from anxiety, PTSD, or chronic pain report that cannabis use helps relieve their symptoms.

At a March committee hearing on the bill, Texas veterans like Ramona Harding told lawmakers how cannabis use under the program helped them recover from military trauma. bottom.

“It doesn’t make you feel better,” said Harding, a Navy veteran. “It just helps the pain subside so I can function.”

If Crick’s bill passes the Senate and is eventually signed by the governor, Texans like Elizabeth Miller may soon be able to qualify as well. He told the House Public Health Committee that he has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a joint disease, and wants alternative treatment options.

“We need a medical cannabis program that is accessible to all Texans regardless of income or disability,” she said.

If passed, the law will come into force on September 1st.

https://www.kxan.com/news/texas-politics/texas-house-passes-bill-to-expand-medical-marijuana-program/ More Texans may be eligible for state medical marijuana programs

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