The legalization of marijuana has been a significant topic of debate since the 1970s. Only in recent history has medical marijuana been approved for low-THC use in the state of Texas, and only under a limited list of conditions. With a new expansion bill, limitations on the amount of THC people may consume have been mitigated, but prescribing the correct dosage can still prove to be challenging. That’s why it’s imperative doctors and patients alike do their research to understand Texas medical marijuana laws and limitations and capitalize on opportunities for better treatment plans.
Texas Medical Marijuana Laws
While many other states are surging ahead with marijuana legalization, both medically and recreationally, Texas only approved medical marijuana as a part of their Compassionate Use Program to treat epileptic conditions in 2015.
The program now allows for low-THC cannabis use, so long as the patient has been diagnosed with any of these medical conditions: ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, cancer, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, Huntington’s disease, MS, Parkinson’s disease, peripheral neuropathies, PTSD, spasticity and more, according to Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation (TXOG), the leading supplier of medical marijuana in Texas.
Most recently, an expansion of conditions was allowed in House Bill 1535, approved during the 2021 legislative session, to include all cancer diagnoses and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A full list of conditions approved for cannabis use in the state of Texas can be found here.
Texas’ Compassionate Use Program
So what’s the catch? All forms of cannabis use in Texas is acceptable—save for smoking. That means patients are free to have a field day with tinctures, sprays, lozenges, and other products made from cannabinoids. And under that aforementioned legislative bill, the THC limit was doubled from 0.5% to 1%, by weight, although chronic pain was eliminated as a qualifying condition for the use of medical marijuana, which has come under fire by physicians and patients alike.
Luckily there’s no age minimum for medical marijuana in Texas, because people of all ages can be affected by the conditions that require cannabis use for treatment. To use cannabis, patients must be permanent Texas residents, receive a prescription through a Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT) registered physician, and have an approved condition.
Now that the law has been acknowledged, it’s time to understand who the big four suppliers of medical marijuana are in Texas, so doctors know where to look when prescribing medications.
Texas’ Three Approved Medical Marijuana Suppliers
With the onset of the pandemic, people across the globe have had to change the way they go about their daily life to protect themselves and others from infection and transmission. That being said, the medical marijuana game in Texas is no different.
The three licensed suppliers in Texas—Fluent, Compassionate Cultivation, and Surterra Texas—have locations across the state, but some have switched to also provide telehealth communications and services if possible, as well as prescription medication delivery. Now, I call that an agile transformation!
The big wig out of that lineup is Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation (TXOG), completely Texas owned and operated in nine towns and cities. TXOG also comes ready for questions from both prescribers and users on their website, especially with the recent launch of a monthly online seminar program for doctors to listen in on. The program is led in tandem by TXOG and Dr. Matthew Brimberry, a board-certified family medicine physician and head of Texas Cannabis Clinic.
“Even if your primary care physician or specialist is not currently registered to prescribe medical cannabis, there are easy ways for patients to access a prescription,” Dr. Matthew Brimberry said. “At Texas Cannabis Clinic, we serve as the conduit between patients and the dispensary, making it easy to speak with a prescribing physician online and discover how medical cannabis can be incorporated into your treatment plan.”
The avenues are out there, it’s up to physicians and patients alike to work together and find the treatment plans that work best for people in need of cannabis products.
Now that you know what the laws are regarding medical marijuana use and where you can get products from, it’s about time you understood the impact these suppliers—and the use of medical marijuana—have had in the state of Texas.
The Impact of Medical Marijuana Suppliers
Here we are in the recent aftermath of medical marijuana usage in Texas, as state law has only allowed its usage for the past seven years—which really amounts to three years, considering the only approved condition for usage was epilepsy until 2019.
The impact on real people has been enlightening, as those suffering with severe diseases, illnesses and medical conditions have found a way to treat their circumstances in a relatively easy way, whether it be oral consumption or other non-smokable forms. In fact, a recent survey by the Texas Tribune found that a majority of Texas voters, 87%, said medical marijuana use should be allowed to treat a wide array of conditions.
Who’s to say how far the state of Texas can come in the next few years, as medical experts and lawmakers look to continue updating and altering medical marijuana laws for more inclusion and equity. With the new legislative expansion, it remains imperative that physicians stay informed about how to adequately prescribe medication and their associated dosages.
“The most important consideration in dosage and administration is to start at a very low dose and increase the dose slowly to determine the optimal efficacy while minimizing side effects,” says Dr. Karen Keough, Compassionate Cultivation chief medical officer. “People with no prior experience using cannabis medicine should be especially careful to follow this guidance.”
So stay safe and be smart in your search to medicate responsibly.
Begin your journey with medical marijuana at the Compassionate Use Registry Portal today.
Dallas Healthcare Lawyer
If you’re looking to make the leap and provide revolutionary care to your patients, give John R. Teakell a call at his Dallas office. He’ll take a deep dive into Texas’ medical marijuana laws and advise you as you evolve your practice.