AUSTIN, Texas – A bill to expand access to medical marijuana for people with debilitating conditions is one step closer to becoming a law after a Texas House vote on Monday.
- Texas House approves HB 1365
- Expanding access to medical cannabis
- Includes more people with debilitating conditions
The Texas House voted 121 to 23 in favor of House Bill 1365. If passed, the legislation would increase the number of people under the Texas Compassionate Use Program to utilize the CBD medical cannabis program.
The TCUP was passed in 2015 only allowing people with intractable epilepsy access to medical cannabis.
The bill adds a number of conditions including:
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn ’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Tourette syndrome
- Muscular dystrophy
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
In addition to the conditions listed above, the bill also includes those with endocannabinoid deficiency, cachexia, neuropathy, severe nausea, seizures, severe muscle spasms, and tic disorders.
"With less than one percent of Texans being eligible for the current Texas Compassionate Use Program, the vast majority of Texas patients have been left behind since 2015," states Jax Finkel, executive director for Texas NORML.
Advocates for marijuana reform said an expansion of the medical cannabis program could help fight the nation's opioid crisis.
The bill, authored by Rep. Eddie Lucio III, will now head to the Senate following a third reading by the House. There are only 21 days left in this legislative session.