Texas’ Compassionate Use Program (CUP) was first established in 2015. Its initial iteration was one of the country’s most restrictive.
House Bill 3703 from the 2019 state legislative session expanded the list of qualifying conditions that physicians can use to prescribe medical cannabis.
Individuals suffering from intractable epilepsy were initially the only patients allowed to be enrolled in CUP. With passage of HB 3703, patients suffering from seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, terminal cancer and several more qualify for medical cannabis treatment.
The bill expands the medicinal use of cannabis products like CBD oil that are low in THC, the psychoactive element in marijuana. CBD oil, derived from hemp, is non-intoxicating.
Currently, Texas allows the production and sale of CBD products with low levels of THC. Medicinal CBD products contain 0.5 percent THC while over-the-counter CBD products are capped at 0.3 percent.
What does science say about the effects of cannabis for medical use? What other conditions could be treated with these substances? How are they administered?
How can patients get more information about the state's Compassionate Use Program? How will these policy changes expand healthcare options for Texans?
- Rep. Stephanie Klick (R - Fort Worth), filed bill that created Texas Compassionate Use Program in 2015; supported broadened list of qualifying conditions in 2019 (HB 3703)
- Alex Samuels, reporter for The Texas Tribune
- Ryan Poppe, reporter for Texas Public Radio
- Dr. Karen Keough, chief medical officer for Compassionate Cultivation (one of the companies licensed under the Compassionate Use Act)
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*This interview was recorded on Wednesday, June 12.