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Texas Lawmakers Establishing Rules for Upcoming Medical Cannabis Program

Texas officials are working to establish legal framework for the state’s Compassionate Use Program, an upcoming medical marijuana program intended to help patients suffering from intractable seizures by granting them access to marijuana strains with high levels of CBD.

Lawmakers are currently working on rules for the growing and distribution of high-CBD cannabis strains, as per a bill signed into law by Texas’ governor Greg Abbott in June, 2015. The program will not be ready for at least another year.

The state’s Public Safety Commission approved administrative rules to regulate the program earlier this month, and has now turned to the Texas Department of Information Resources to establish ground rules for the Compassionate Use Program’s physician and dispensary registries. When these rules are finalized, applicants can begin pursuing medical cannabis dispensary licenses, though officials are not expected to issue the first dispensary licenses until June, 2017.

Under Texas law — including the upcoming Compassionate Care Act — it is illegal to smoke cannabis for medicinal or recreational purposes. Specially made products for Texas patients will make put the state alongside other states with restrictive medical cannabis programs, such as New York and Minnesota.

Texas is one of 23 U.S. states that — along with Washington D.C. and Guam — have now passed some form of relaxation of its cannabis laws.

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