Texas has some big changes surrounding cannabis on the horizon.
The state House of Representatives has given initial approval to a bill that would allow physicians to recommend medical cannabis to patients as an alternative to opioids for chronic pain treatment. Expand eligibility to allow legitimate access to patients with “chronic pain-causing conditions for which doctors would otherwise prescribe opioids.”
according to American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 Americans have chronic pain. In 2021, more than 106,000 of her people in the United States will die from drug overdoses, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids. National Institutes of HealthTexas, in particular, saw an 80% increase in reported synthetic opioid-related deaths in 2021 compared to 2020. Texas Labor Commission.
Conversely, DEA admits No deaths from cannabis overdose have ever occurred.
A new chapter for the Texas cannabis industry?
law, House Bill 1805, also replaces the THC cap established under Texas’ existing medical cannabis law. Medical cannabis laws in Texas are currently CBD-only and his THC cap for cannabis oil is 1%. If legislation is enacted, the THC limit will move to a 10mg volumetric dosage. The bill further provides that State Department of Health Services (DSHS) regulators may approve additional debilitating medical conditions to qualify as new patients for cannabis programs through rulemaking.
Rep. Stephanie Crick (Republican)’s bill passed the House after passing it by a vote of 121 to 23 on Tuesday. To move to the Senate, it must be approved again by the House of Representatives. If enacted, the bill will enter into force on September 1, 2023.
Texas NORML also encouraged supporters in the state to reach out to legislators and voice their support for the reform, urging legislators to endorse it. Jax James, Executive Director of Texas NORML said: news release He said he was “thrilled” to see progress in the proposed legislation.
“The passage of this law provides eligible patients with a state-sanctioned option to access treatments proven to provide significant benefits,” Jones said. Medical cannabis is an objectively safe alternative to a range of potentially displaced pharmaceuticals.To my fellow Texans, express your support for this important legislation and reach out to the Senators to We urge you to encourage their support as we move through the legislative process.”
One of many recent shifts
Of course, the move can be seen as a small step compared to other states that have enacted broader medical marijuana laws or ended bans as a whole, but it still represents a significant expansion for Texas. It is also one of the recent moves that suggests Texas may be broadening its horizons when it comes to cannabis.
Recent Texas Senators held a public hearing House Bill 218, if passed, would reduce penalties for possession of cannabis and cannabis concentrates. Last month, the Texas House Criminal Law Committee also passed a bill 9-0 to decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis.
On Election Day 2022, five Texas cities also voted to decriminalize low-level cannabis possession. Denton, San Marcos, Killeen, Elgin and Harker Heights.In the weeks that followed, several cities clashed with parliamentariansargued that the decriminalization effort violates state law and obstructs police officers.
Recently, a federal court in Texas ruled that the federal ban on cannabis users who own firearms is unconstitutional. It is hard to believe that participating in the practice would make individuals so dangerous or unreliable that they would have to be disenfranchised with their Second Amendment rights.”
Texas Residents Like Updated Cannabis Policy
Texas still has very restrictive cannabis laws, but they are not aligned with the views of the state.
according to University of Houston study Of the 1,200 Texas adults 18 and older announced earlier this year, four out of five adults said they supported an expanded medical cannabis program. The survey found that a majority of respondents supported the decriminalization of cannabis possession and reduced penalties for possession of small amounts of cannabis to citations, and two-thirds of the individuals surveyed said they I also found that they support legalization.
another pollIn a 2022 survey conducted by the University of Texas and the Texas Political Project, a similarly large majority (72%) supported the decriminalization of cannabis, punishing offenses with citations and fines, and not threatening jail time. Only 17% said they supported a complete ban on cannabis use, including medical cannabis.