Image of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
~
SB 339, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Eltife, is intended to allow patients with intractable seizure conditions to access marijuana extracts containing high levels of cannabidiol (CBD) and only trace levels of THC.
 
SB 339 requires doctors to “prescribe” low-THC marijuana extracts to patients, which exposes doctors to federal criminal sanctions.
 
By contrast, doctors “recommend” medical marijuana or “certify” patients to use medical marijuana in the 23 states with comprehensive medical marijuana laws and the District of Columbia.
 
Unlike “prescriptions,” recommendations and certifications are federally legal and protected under the First Amendment.
 
The bill also only allows for extracts with very little THC, and some seizure patients say a greater ratio of THC to CBD is necessary for it to be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of seizures.
 
The bill also fails to allow access to any medical marijuana products for people suffering from other debilitating conditions, such as PTSD, cancer, and multiple sclerosis, for which medical marijuana has been found to have significant medical benefits.
 
Despite SB 339’s significant limitations, advocates support Gov. Abbott signing it into law and promptly implementing the program.
 
It has frequently taken as long as two to three years for patients to begin safely accessing medical cannabis preparations after state medical marijuana laws are enacted.
 
First, rules need to be crafted for the operation of dispensaries, then there is an application process, and finally the providers must find locations, build out their facilities, and begin cultivation.
 
Fourteen states have adopted laws that allow limited access to products containing CBD, although most of them are not functional due to defects similar to those in the Texas bill.
 
23 additional states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territory of Guam have adopted comprehensive medical marijuana laws that allow patients with debilitating conditions to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.
 
Statement from Heather Fazio, Texas political director for the Marijuana Policy Project: “While this program leaves most patients behind and we’re concerned about its functionality, today is one for the history books. The Texas Legislature is sending a resounding message: Marijuana is medicine. We commend our Texas lawmakers and look forward to continuing this conversation when the 85th Legislature convenes in 2017.”
 
~
November 15, 2019

Law Enforcement Prepares For Legal Cannabis in…

As Illinois prepares to legalize recreational marijuana, one group preparing for a cultural sea-change is the very group responsible for…
November 15, 2019

Holiday Gift Guide 2019: The Best Cannabis…

in Travel

While traveling with cannabis is still technically illegal -- even when you’re going to or coming from a legal state,…
November 15, 2019

Australia: Women with endometriosis are turning to…

For some women with endometriosis, surgery and medication just aren't cutting it to alleviate their pain and other symptoms. One…
November 15, 2019

Two-thirds of Americans support marijuana legalization -…

Two-thirds of Americans say the use of marijuana should be legal, reflecting a steady increase over the past decade, according…
November 14, 2019

Florida Medical Marijuana Use Doubles In Just…

Since this time last year, the number of medical marijuana patients in Florida has more than doubled.
November 14, 2019

Is tissue culture the future of growing…

Cannabis cultivators need a clean, reproducible growing process that can cater to high demand and create consistent product. Enter large-scale,…
November 14, 2019

Pennsylvania medical marijuana sales top $500 million…

Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program has generated more than $500 million in sales since it began operating two years ago, according…
November 14, 2019

Michigan recreational marijuana retail sales to begin…

Michigan residents will be able to legally purchase marijuana from stores beginning Dec. 1, the state Marijuana Regulatory Agency announced…
November 13, 2019

Israeli government throws its weight behind medical…

With the issuance of a wide-ranging ministry report on the medical cannabis industry, Israel is for the first time making…
November 13, 2019

Can Industrial Hemp Make Automobiles More Green?…

Unlike petrochemical-based lubricants, hemp is a renewable resource that actually reduces carbon dioxide in the air.
November 13, 2019

'I was in chronic pain. Medicinal cannabis…

Lara Smith is a former nurse in the UK who relies on medicinal cannabis for pain relief, but still can't…