Texas: Medical Cannabis Legislation Passes House and Senate Committees
Texas’ House Public Health Committee, and their Senate Health and Human Services Committee, have both approved companion bills to legalize the medical use of low-THC cannabis for the treatment of uncontrollable epilepsy.
House Bill 892 was approved with an 8 to 1 vote, and Senate Bill 339 was passed 7 to 1. The measures – titled the Texas Compassionate Use Act – now move to the full House and Senate, respectively. The legislation would allow those with epilepsy who receive a recommendation from a physician to possess, purchase (from state-licensed dispensaries) and use cannabis that have no more than 0.5% THC, and at least 10% CBD.
“These families have no other options,” says Representative Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth), the bill’s primary sponsor in the House told her colleagues on the House Public Health Committee Tuesday. “They’ve exhausted the FDA-approved drugs that are available to them.”
According to advocates of the bill, nearly 150,000 Texans live with intractable epilepsy, many of them children.
“The human data on CBD oil is very encouraging… I believe this drug holds great promise,” Dr. M. Scott Perry, a pediatric epileptologist at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth. “As doctors, our goal is to cure and treat and to weigh the costs and benefits of a medication. Drug trials take a great deal of time, and many of my patients don’t have that kind of time.”
If approved by the Texas Legislature with a 2/3rds majority, the Texas Compassionate Use Act will take effect immediately; if passed by a simple majority, it will take effect on September 1st.
Earlier today, the Texas House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence voted to decriminalize cannabis possession.