Texas Legislature Passes Bill To Expand Access To CBD Oil

Texas lawmakers passed SB339, the Compassionate Use Act in 2015, allowing for the use of low-THC cannabis oil by a limited number of people in the state.

Under the law, patients suffering from severe seizure conditions who had tried FDA-approved medications with no success could obtain a prescription for CBD oil, though many doctors in the state have been reluctant to prescribe cannabis oil in fear of violating federal laws.

The law deviated from policies adopted by other states in that it required doctors to write prescriptions for cannabis oil instead of following the usual practice of offering recommendations, which is protected by the First Amendment.

In March, Representative Stephanie Klick [R] filed legislation to amend current law to allow patients with a broader range of conditions to have access to medical cannabis oil.

Klick’s bill, HB3703, expands the list of qualifying conditions beyond seizure disorders by adding autism, multiple sclerosis, terminal cancer, spasticity, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and incurable neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.

HB3703 passed the House with a final vote of 136-5 on Sunday following the Senate’s 25-6 vote to approve the bill on Wednesday.

The bill is currently awaiting Governor Greg Abbott’s signature along with a separate bill approved by the State Legislature last week, HB1325, which would allow Texas farmers to grow industrial hemp.

HB1325 would remove hemp and hemp-derived CBD from the state’s list of controlled substances and create a system for licensed production and sale.