While Texas has moved a baby step forward regarding medical marijuana, some fear that the highly restrictive program isn’t good enough. Only eight doctors will be participating in recommending patients for their CBD oil program. The state has 27 million residents.
To qualify in Texas, patients can only have intractable epilepsy and must have tried at least two traditional treatments first, Weatherford Democrat reports. Texas only licensed 3 dispensaries with none in the western portion of the state. There are also no dispensaries located near the Texas-Mexico border.
Christina Ollervidez, whose daughter has Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, said, “It’s heartbreaking. Being able to say, ‘Yes, you can get it,’ but reading over the whole law there is still some things we have to jump over.”
She also said, “Seeing Texas put limitations, I do get that part. But I don’t think they did their exact research.”
Morris Denton, of Compassionate Cultivation dispensary, said, “If you’re willing to take a long-term view and you’re willing to suffer a few scars along the way, that success will come. The lessons themselves represent a barrier to entry for others who may come in. But I think it’s hard to pinpoint how, where and when to start a legal medical cannabis industry.”
Cultivators face a big issue themselves – the $500,000 licensing fee price tag. Every square foot of their facility must be covered by surveillance video. They have to keep all surveillance footage for two years. Some police dashcam footage doesn’t even need to be kept that long.
To test products for purity and quality – a third-party testing facility cannot be used.
Stephanie Klick, who brought the legislation forward, is opposed to expansion of the medical marijuana program. She has said that it took a year and a half to gather enough support in the Legislature to even bring the legislation to light.
Klick said, “There was one sheriff that thought these kids were going to be juvenile delinquents and end up in his jail. And these are really sick kids.”
Klick did, however, indicate that she may consider an expansion after they see how the program currently in place works out.
Kristen Hanson of the National Conference of State Legislatures says Texas’ approach to the low-THC oil is a bit unusual. Doctors in Texas actually have to prescribe the oil rather than recommend or refer patients. This is what she says has turned most Texas doctors off to participating in the program.
One doctor, Dr. Paul Van Ness is a neurologist. He has patients that use traditional marijuana and some have been arrested.
Dr. Van Ness said, “They didn’t belong in jail, but that’s what happens in Texas. So if they can do it legally, that’s a lot safer.”