Cannabis in Texas: A Legislative Timeline

June 2015

100 years after the first legal clampdown on cannabis, Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 339, known as the Compassionate Use Act, allowing for medical cannabis as a prescription treatment for intractable epilepsy.

October 2017

Texas Original, the state's leading medical cannabis dispensary, planted their first cannabis seeds. 

February 2018

Texas Original serves its first patient living with intractable epilepsy. 

June 2019

The Texas Compassionate Use Program expands the eligible conditions to over 100 qualifying medical conditions. The passage of this bill also removed the need for the approval of a second physician, requiring only one physician to prescribe medical cannabis. 

June 2021

HB1535 passes, expanding the CUP to include all cancer diagnoses and PTSD. The THC cap is raised from 0.5% to 1% for the final weight of products. 

January 2023

Texas’ 88th Legislative begins 

Texas Compassionate Use Program - Qualifying Conditions 

Under the Compassionate Use Program, patients are eligible to receive a medical cannabis prescription for the following conditions: 

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder​ (PTSD)​ 
  • Cancer
  • Peripheral Neuropathy (Nerve Pain)​ 
  • Spasticity (Muscle Spasms)​ 
  • ALS​ 
  • Autism​​ 
  • Cerebral Palsy​​ 
  • Multiple Sclerosis​​ 
  • Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementia​s​ 
  • Seizure disorders ​​ 
  • Parkinson’s/Huntington’s Diseases
  • Over 100 other incurable neurodegenerative diseases 

CBD, Cannabis and Marijuana: What is Legal in the State of Texas

Under the provisions of the Texas Compassionate Use Act, medical cannabis can be used in the medical treatment of approved conditions, under the guidance of a registered physician. It is still a crime to possess cannabis (over 0.3% THC by weight) not prescribed by a registered doctor for an approved condition in the state of Texas. Additionally, smokeable products are not a permitted product in Texas under the current law.

What Makes a Cannabis Product “Medical Grade”?

After the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, over-the-counter hemp-derived products began to enter the market. ​Synthesized hemp-derived Delta 8, 9 and 10 THC products may pose risks for consumers due to harmful solvents and chemicals being added without adequate testing or regulation. Additionally, over-the-counter hemp products may vary in potency due to a lack of regulation, mislabeling, and inconsistent processing methods. Additionally, many products are often not sold in child-resistant containers.

So, what exactly should you look for when purchasing medical cannabis medicine?

Certification and Testing

  • Medical-grade cannabis products should be provided with a thorough Certificate of Analysis (CoA) that is available online or attached to the package.​ 
  • A thorough CoA certifies that the product meets quality and safety standards by identifying potency (by weight), and the presence of toxins, including heavy metals, residual solvents, pesticides, and microbial.

Quality and Transparency 

  • Medical-grade cannabis products should be made with a rigorous cultivation, manufacturing and certification process that ensures patients receive a high-quality product every time. In addition, medical-grade cannabis products should provide transparency into how they are made, including making product ingredients and testing results easily accessible to patients. 

Optimized for Relief

  • Medical-grade cannabis products should be optimized to appropriately treat a variety of medical conditions and symptoms. Patient trials, testing, and research should inform the formulation of medical-grade cannabis products.

What to Look for in a Medical Cannabis Dispensary​ 

A medical cannabis dispensary should: 

  • Provide a thorough Certificate of Analysis (CoA) that is available online or attached to the medicine package.​ 
  • Make medical-grade cannabis products with a rigorous quality process and provide transparency into how they are made, including making product ingredients and testing results easily accessible to patients. ​ 
  • Abide by state regulations and ensure all products are made in-house through a vertical integration model.​ 
  • Utilize patient trials, testing, and research to inform the formulation of medical-grade cannabis products that are optimized to appropriately treat a variety of medical conditions and symptoms.