The Texas House has given preliminary approval to a measure that would expand the state’s medical cannabis qualifying conditions list and increase the number of dispensaries throughout the state but it does not increase the THC content from 0.3 percent, the Texas Tribune reports.
The voice vote on state Rep. Stephanie Klick’s bill came a day after lawmakers in the chamber approved 128-20 a similar measure introduced by Democratic state Rep. Eddie Lucio III. Lucio’s bill would add Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, muscular dystrophy, and autism to the list and raise the number of dispensaries from three to 12. Klick’s bill would only allow more dispensaries to open in the state if the Department of Public Safety determines there is a patient need. Her bill also does not add autism to the qualifying conditions list because, Klick said, “the data is not really there.”
Both bills face an uphill battle in the state Senate despite the Republican Party of Texas approving a plank last year supporting the expansion of the state’s 2015 Compassionate Use Act.
This is the third cannabis-related bill passed by the House this session. Last month, the chamber approved a decriminalization measure 98-43 but Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Criminal Justice Committee Chairman Sen. John Whitmire, a Democrat, indicated the bill was dead on arrival in the upper chamber – which could signal the fate of the medical cannabis bills.