On June 1st, 2015, Texas Governor Greg Abbot signed a bill—the Texas Compassionate Use Act—that legalized the restricted use of cannabis to treat patients with severe, intractable epilepsy. The act legalized the production and sale of cannabidiol (CBD), an oil which doesn’t produce a euphoric high due to its extremely low concentrations of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
A patient may be prescribed low-THC cannabis or CBD if:
- A patient is a permanent Texas resident
- A patient is diagnosed with intractable epilepsy
- The qualified doctor determines the risk of the medical use of low-THC cannabis and CBD by a patient and considers the possible benefit for the patient
- A second qualified physician has occurred with the determination
The statute does not require patients to register or pay a fee. Patient information will be stored in the “Compassionate Use Registry.” A qualified doctor will enter a patient’s name, date of birth, low-THC cannabis or CBD prescribed and means of administration into the registry. Keep in mind, the statute has no age restrictions for patients, meaning children are eligible for the program.
Prospective low-THC marijuana patients will need to have been prescribed at least two United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved treatments in the past that were proven ineffective. Additionally, cannabis oils will only be administered when there are no other appropriate FDA-approved therapies available.