Ed Uthman

Texas MMJ Program Could be Decimated Under DPS Rule Changes

The Texas Department of Public Safety is considering raising fees for licensed dispensaries and growers from $6,000 to $1.3 million, according to a report by NPR-affiliate Texas Public Radio. The fee increase proposal is due to a DPS plan to reduce the number of businesses licensed under the state’s narrow medical marijuana program from 12 to just three.

The fee increase and dispensary reduction is part of a scheme to overhaul the state medical cannabis program, which also proposes that a DPS Trooper provide security at dispensaries at all times. The agency has until the summer of 2017 to finalize and adopt the rules — which Marijuana Policy Project Executive Director Heather Fazio says will make it nearly impossible for businesses to operate, severely limit patient access, and could require cultivators to incriminate themselves with regard to disclosing where their seeds come from.

“They’ve amended some of the rules, which have been rather alarming for those who are both interested in accessing this medicine and for those who are interested in opening up a cannabis business to provide the medicine for these patients,” Fazio said in the report, suggesting that nobody in the state would have access to plants with high CBD levels without importing them — a violation of federal law.

The public comment period for the proposed rules changes is open until Nov. 28.

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