Can this type of medical cannabis save lives?
More Texans might soon be able to legally use medical cannabis oil.
State Rep. Stephanie Klick — the Fort Worth Republican who shepherded through the Legislature the first bill legalizing the oil for those suffering from intractable epilepsy — now believes more Texans should be able to use the oil.
Klick’s proposal is to open the door for Texans with multiple sclerosis, spasticity and any form of epilepsy to use this oil that comes from the hemp plant. She said she plans to also add patients under palliative care to the bill.
“When I talked to medical experts, (these are the conditions) they would like to see added so they could offer (CBD oil) to their patients,” said Klick, a former nurse who authored the Compassionate Use Act that passed in 2015.
This comes as countless Texans already are buying cannabidiol oil online and in stores across the state.
Except for those prescribed CBD oil, marijuana use for medical or recreational reasons is illegal in Texas.
Some disagree, saying they believe the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized industrial hemp, means that it’s legal for any Texan to buy and use the oil.
The Tarrant County District Attorney’s office has weighed in, saying CBD oil is only legal under the Compassionate Use Act.
“Texas has not legalized hemp,” District Attorney Sharen Wilson said in a statement.
Klick’s House Bill 3703 would let more Texans use low-THC medical cannabis oil if doctors prescribe it.
CBD oil comes from the hemp plant, which is related to the marijuana plant. The CBD extract doesn’t contain any tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive ingredient that produces a high. This form of the marijuana plant, lawmakers have said, lets a patient get the benefits without the high.
“There is a lot of interest,” Klick said, adding that she believes more people in the Legislature support this than did four years ago. “There’s a benefit for this therapy.”
The bill removes the requirement that two doctors need to write a prescription for eligible patients. Only one would need to do that, under this measure.
And the measure creates a medical cannabis research program at one or more medical schools in Texas.
Texas lawmakers have until the end of their legislative session, May 27, to pass bills.