AUSTIN, Texas -- More patients will likely soon have access to medical cannabis in Texas.
On Wednesday, the Texas Senate unanimously passed a bill that would expand the list of conditions that can be legally treated by cannabis oil.
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Currently, only people with a severe form of epilepsy are eligible under the state’s Compassionate Use Program. But if signed into law, patients with all forms of epilepsy, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, terminal cancer, autism, ALS and incurable neurodegenerative diseases would be eligible to obtain the medicine.
“This bill is about compassion. For patients participating in the [Compassionate Use Program] they have had a remarkable and life-altering change because of this. That’s compassion." -- Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, the Senate sponsor of the bill.
Under the version approved by the Senate Wednesday, the Texas Department of Public Safety would still have oversight of the Compassionate Use Program. The bill also caps the amount of the psychoactive element in marijuana, known as THC, at 0.5 percent.
One condition not covered by the legislation: PTSD.
The bill’s author said she’d like to see more research done before adding it to the Compassionate Use Program. The House has to agree to changes made by the Senate before it can be sent to Gov. Abbott.