For thousands of Texans, medical cannabis offers a life-changing solution for alleviating many symptoms associated with medical conditions. Medical cannabis is already legal in Texas for over 150 conditions. In fact, Houston’s first permanent medical cannabis pickup location opened this year.
But how does the program work, what are the current laws, and who qualifies for medical cannabis? Here, we’ll break down the basics of hemp products and medical cannabis in Texas.
In 2015, Texas passed the Compassionate Use Act. This law allowed for the first legal use of medical cannabis in the state for patients living with intractable epilepsy.
The bill also established the Compassionate Use Program, the state’s official medical cannabis program. Since 2015, the program has expanded twice, allowing for more than 150 conditions to qualify for medical cannabis.
When the Compassionate Use Program expanded in 2021, the THC percentage for the final weight of products increased from 0.5% to 1%. This means that a 1-gram gummy may contain up to 10 milligrams of THC, a 2-gram gummy may contain up to 20 milligrams of THC, and so on.
However, there is no limit to the amount of milligrams a physician may prescribe. 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.
How do you get a prescription?
Unlike other states, Texas does not use medical cards. Instead, qualifying physicians write prescriptions that are uploaded to an online registry operated by the Department of Public Safety called the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT). The registry is accessible across the state to law enforcement agencies and dispensing organizations to verify patient prescriptions.
Qualifying conditions for medical cannabis in Texas include:
- Muscle spasms
- Nerve pain
- Alzheimer’s and other dementias
- And over 100 more conditions
Ready to get a prescription? Click here and fill out the form to be connected with a doctor who is registered to prescribe medical cannabis.
So what’s the difference between over-the-counter hemp products and medical cannabis?
In 2018, the Farm Bill was signed into law, removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. Hemp is defined as having 0.3% THC, however, the Farm Bill only limits Delta 9 THC, unintentionally creating a loophole for an unregulated market. This loophole in the bill led to an increased interest in the hemp-derived cannabinoid market, especially in states where higher amounts of cannabis-derived Delta 9 THC products remain restricted.
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.
What makes a product “medical grade”?
Medical cannabis products are regulated under the Texas Compassionate Use Program and must follow stringent quality measures. Any product produced by a licensed medical cannabis dispensary must meet extensive in-house testing requirements to ensure the medicine does not contain contaminants and meets the state's potency requirements. Additionally, medical cannabis products should be formulated based on research and patient trials to optimize symptom relief.
What to look for in a medical cannabis dispensary
Medical cannabis dispensaries licensed in the state of Texas must abide by state regulations and ensure all products are made in-house through a vertical integration model.
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 products with a rigorous quality process and provide transparency into how they are made, including making product ingredients and testing results easily accessible to the public.
- Abide by state regulations and ensure all products are made in-house through a vertical integration model.
- Utilize patient trials, testing research to determine the formulation of medical-grade products to ensure they are optimized to appropriately treat a variety of medical conditions and symptoms.
With the medical cannabis industry only continuing to grow, Texas Original is leading the state with pioneering expansions and new product launches, including opening Houston’s first permanent medical cannabis pickup location, debuting the state’s first fast-acting CBN gummy, and adding a fourth temporary pickup location in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
If you or a loved one are ready to start your journey with medical cannabis, reach out to Texas Original to get started. Plus, enjoy a 20 percent discount on your first order at Texas Original.