The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has conditionally approved three physician organizations to prescribe low-THC cannabis to patients diagnosed with intractable epilepsy.
Cansortium Texas, Compassionate Cultivation, and Surterra Texas will next undergo a rigorous onsite inspection before being approved to cultivate, process, and dispense low-THC cannabis to prescribed patients.
The Texas Compassionate Use Act, passed by the Texas Legislature in 2015, requires DPS to create a secure registry of physicians who treat epilepsy via low-THC cannabis and to license at least three dispensing organizations by Sept. 1, 2017.
Between March 1 and March 31, the department received 43 applications, which were reviewed by a panel of DPS employees. The applications required that facilities meet a host of criteria, including the ability to secure resources, premises, and employees; proof of the technical and technological ability to cultivate, process, and/or dispense; and proof of infrastructure.
According to the act, only licensed and certified physicians who dedicate a significant portion of clinical practice to the evaluation and treatment of epilepsy are eligible to prescribe low-THC cannabis.
Cannabis prescriptions will be allowed to alleviate a patient's seizures if the patient is a permanent Texas resident and has been diagnosed with intractable epilepsy, and the physician has determined that the risk to the patient is reasonable in light of the potential benefit.
More information, including news and updates, the summary of the act, and frequently asked questions, can be found on the DPS website.
A bill filed in the Texas House this session would expand the Compassionate Use Act to allow a specialist to administer low-THC cannabis and an oil derivative of marijuana to qualifying patients with medical conditions such as terminal cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder. However, that bill has not reached the House floor.
Action, May 15, 2017