Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation’s Statement on Senate Passage of House Bill 1535

Legislation expands medical cannabis access to patients throughout Texas, including all cancer patients and patients suffering from PTSD

AUSTIN, Texas (June 1, 2021)—Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation (TOCC), Texas’ leading medical cannabis provider, is grateful for the unanimous passage of House Bill 1535 by the Senate last week. HB 1535, introduced by House Public Health Committee Chairwoman Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth), expands the list of medical conditions and patients that qualify for low-THC medical cannabis prescriptions and increases the amount of permitted THC in medicines. The bill now awaits a signature from Governor Greg Abbott.

“This is another positive moment for medical cannabis in the state of Texas,” said Morris Denton, TOCC’s CEO. “Passing HB 1535 through both chambers is a reflection of what Texans want to see from their government. We are grateful to the legislators that took time to listen to the countless patients and prescribers who called and delivered testimony at the Capitol. I want to give a special thank you to Representative Klick for drafting and advocating on behalf of this bill, as well as Senator Schwertner and the other senators instrumental in bringing this legislation to life for their thousands of deserving constituents.”

HB 1535 did not pass the Senate in its original form. An amendment by the Senate State Affairs Committee reduced the THC limit from 5 percent to 1 percent and removed chronic pain where a patient would otherwise be prescribed an opioid from the list of qualifying conditions. The committee sub also removed the ability to add conditions by the Department of State Health Services.

“There are no moral victories when it comes to patient health,” Denton added. “The legislature’s decision to remove chronic pain for which an opioid would otherwise be prescribed as a qualifying condition is a real head scratcher. Medical cannabis is a real, tangible solution for opioid abuse disorder—a problem that has resulted in more than 25,000 Texas deaths since the year 2000. Unfortunately, even as we see opioid overdose deaths increase by more than 35% during the pandemic, our political leaders instead decide to remove medical cannabis as an option for patients and doctors. There is science and there is data that proves that medical cannabis can be an off-ramp for those suffering from opioid use disorder.”

With the expansion of the Compassionate Use Program, Texas is among a legion of conservative states broadening preexisting medical cannabis legislation or implementing new programs to help their most vulnerable citizens.

For more information about TOCC, visit www.texasoriginal.com.

About Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation

Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation (TOCC) is the leading licensed medical marijuana producer in Texas, working alongside physicians to provide the highest quality cannabis medicine to patients and families seeking relief across the state. As fellow Texans, we are dedicated to representing the integrity of this great state with our commitment to quality, consistency and purity in every product we produce. We remain committed to advancing safe, legal access to this powerful medicine. TOCC is headquartered in Austin, with delivery throughout the entire state. For more information, visit www.texasoriginal.com.