Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law a bill legalizing the use of marijuana oil extracts in the treatment of severe epilepsy.
Patients suffering from intractable epilepsy and who have found at least two other medications to be ineffective will now have access to low-THC, high-CBD oil extracts. The state will oversee the distribution of the oils.
Medical marijuana advocates have attacked the bill for being too narrow in scope and ‘unworkable’ because of a provision that requires doctors to prescribe patients marijuana, which is a violation of federal law.
Despite the criticism, Heather Fazio, the Texas political director for Marijuana Policy Project, viewed the bill’s passage as a cause for celebration.
“While this program leaves most patients behind and we’re concerned about its functionality, today is one for the history books,” she said. “The Texas Legislature is sending a resounding message: Marijuana is medicine. We commend our Texas lawmakers and look forward to continuing this conversation when the 85th Legislature convenes in 2017.”
The bill requires the Texas Department of Public Safety to approve at least three oil dispensaries by September 1st, 2017.
Photo Credit: Kimberly Vardeman