Bill To Expand Medical Cannabis Access Advances In Texas Legislature

In February, Representative Eddie Lucio introduced a bill, HB1365, to expand the Texas medical cannabis program to include more qualifying conditions and allow patients to obtain and use THC.

“We have a tremendous opportunity this session to help people that are in tremendous pain, that are not only [coping] with the pain, but to feel well enough to start being able to seek better treatments.” said Representative Lucio.

Governor Gregg Abbott signed SB339 in 2015, allowing qualified patients with intractable epilepsy to use cannabis, but the bill only permitted the use of CBD oil containing no more than 0.5 percent THC and excluded patients with other conditions who might be able to benefit from medical marijuana.

HB1365, which has bipartisan support, would allow for vaporization and other methods of medical cannabis consumption, though smoking would still be prohibited under the measure.

Patients with glaucoma, cancer, HIV/AIDS Parkinson’s disease, PTSD, autism, sickle cell anemia, or other approved condition would be allowed to use medical cannabis under HB1365.

“This is a non-partisan issue that has done well in both party polls,” said Representative Lucio in a Facebook post on Monday. “Majority of Texans support doctor prescribed medical cannabis!”

On April 17, the House Committee gave their unanimous approval to HB1365, progressing it to the House floor where it is currently awaiting a vote.