Texas’ medical marijuana is best known for being one of the most restrictive in the county, limiting its medicinal relief to fewer than 6,000 and only to those with neurological disorders or terminal cancer.
However, a new law that passed during the Legislature -effective September 1st– will now allow people with PTSD and cancer patients to use low doses of THC cannabis, as part of the Texas Compassionate Use Program.
This new law will also increase the previous THC cap in medical marijuana to 1%, which experts say it’s still a pretty small quantity.
“Because [the program] was so narrow for so long, many patients were forced to go to the neighboring states around Texas that have robust medical programs to gain access to the plant,” said Jax Finkel, the executive director of Texas’ chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
“And in fact, many patients have had to actually leave the state permanently for access — medical refugees,” Finkel added.
A survey conducted by Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy found that among nearly 3,000 respondents who were using medical marijuana, 84% said they have considered leaving Texas for a state with a more inclusive cannabis program.
In spite of Texas being one of 36 states with a medical marijuana program, the percent of THC allowed in products is still surprisingly low in comparison, which was proposed to change from its current .5% to 5% in the original bill.
The use of THC, known for being the component from the marijuana plant that causes relief from psychological effects, will allow every use of THC consumption except in smoking.
The new law is not only expected to help people suffering from PTSD by providing relief to the amygdala and alleviating the side effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients, but also to keep these patients within Texas by offering the aid they need.