Marijuana has a long history in the state of Texas and stretches back as far as over 100 years. Over the last several decades, many reforms have been proposed to loosen penalties and allow for increased access. So far in the 21st century, we have seen the use and acceptance of medical marijuana continue to evolve and pique interest among patients and physicians. Read more to learn about the history of marijuana and the Compassionate Use Program in Texas.
Early History of Marijuana
During the 19th and early 20th centuries, marijuana was utilized as a medicine for more than 100 different illnesses and diseases as described in the U.S Pharmacopeia. Federal restrictions on the sale and use of cannabis were implemented in 1937, eventually leading to the removal of marijuana from the U.S Pharmacopeia in 1942. Throughout the majority of the 20th century, marijuana would remain restricted in Texas and most of the United States.
The Beginning of Medical Marijuana in Texas
In recent years, interest in the medical benefits of cannabis medicine arose again, leading to a change in the law. The Texas Compassionate Use Act was enacted in June of 2015, which allowed for the first legal use of low-THC marijuana products for patients with intractable epilepsy. In 2017, we began building the first medical marijuana dispensary in Texas. We planted our first seeds on October 31st, 2017 and soon after, we began manufacturing our first batches of cannabis medicine.
On February 8th, 2018, we served our first patient living with intractable epilepsy. Throughout our first year of serving patients, we began to witness the power and truth of what the cannabis plant can do. While the number of patients that qualified under the Compassionate Use Program was small, the success we witnessed in each patient was monumental.
Further Expansion of the Compassionate Use Program in Texas
In June of 2019, HB 3703 passed, expanding eligibility for medical marijuana to over 100 medical conditions. The bill included terminal cancer, autism, multiple sclerosis, incurable neurodegenerative diseases, ALS, spasticity and more. The passage of this bill also removed the approval of a second physician, requiring only one physician to prescribe medical marijuana.
In June of 2021, House Bill 1535 was signed into law to expand medical marijuana access to patients living with cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This bill also permitted a raise in the THC cap for the first time, from 0.5% to 1% THC by weight. On September 1st, 2021, HB 1535 went into effect and TXOG introduced Texas’ first fast-acting gummy.
Looking Forward to 2022 and Beyond
Currently, millions of Texans are now eligible to receive medical marijuana. In 2022, we will continue to advocate for our patients and all Texans for further expansion of the Compassionate Use Program in Texas. We believe in the power of this plant and are committed to helping Texans find relief quickly. As the program expands, so do we to meet the needs of our patients. We deliver statewide and have prescription pick-up locations in Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Wichita Falls and El Paso. Interested in becoming a patient? Click the link below to learn more.