Texas will begin to prepare to issue licenses to retailers for the sale of marijuana-based products, reported MySanAntonio. The licenses will enable certain dispensaries to sell products with low levels of THC, such as cannabis oil.
The state has approved the products for people diagnosed with intractable epilepsy, a form of the disease where seizures cannot be treated with traditional drugs. The program was slated to be launched Jan. 10, but the first dispensary will not be licensed until June 2017. License applications will not be finalized and available to companies until this summer.
After select dispensaries receive the licenses, it will allow them to sell low-THC cannabis products. Low-THC marijuana contains at least 10 percent cannabidiol, or CBD, but not more than 0.5 percent THC. These products, such as oils, are approved for individuals suffering from intractable epilepsy, which can cause seizures that are not treatable with traditional drugs. The patient can only be prescribed low-THC cannabis if two other drugs are found to be ineffective.
“There's no question that you do have to go through a lot of hurdles before you're eligible to receive treatment under this particular legislation,” Texas Sen. Jose Rodriguez, who was a co-author of the bill, told local news station KFOX.
Although the medical marijuana bill was signed into law in June, the guidelines of the program have yet to be hashed out, and the state does not plan to issue licenses to dispensaries until after the framework is finalized. Texas is required to issue at least three licenses by September 2017, according to Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy. Vendor contracts are being prepared now to be issued in June this year and the physician registry will be developed in July.
When the Compassionate Use Program is launched, it will be one of the most restrictive programs in the nation, with only one qualifying condition to prescribe cannabis. There are 23 other states that have legalized medical marijuana, with four and Washington, D.C., going on to legalize cannabis completely. California was the first state to enact medical marijuana legislation in 1996.