AUSTIN, Texas -- It's been a week since the process for medical cannabis dispensaries to apply for permits has been open. But, without warning, the Texas Department of Public Safety suspended it.
“The Department’s Compassionate Use Program is not accepting applications at this time,” it says on the department’s website.
The sudden announcement comes nearly one month after the state said it would keep the application process open through November 1.
This all follows state lawmakers' move to expand the list of conditions that qualify for the medicine under the state's Compassionate Use Program.
DPS did not explain why the agency stopped accepting applications.
Medical marijuana advocates say the change is disappointing.
“To have more dispensaries, since there’s only three (currently in the state), there’s not a lot of price competition there,” said Jax Finkel, executive director of Texas NORML. “I know some patients are paying between $1,000 and $2,000 a month for their oil medicine and it’s not covered by Medicare, it’s not covered by insurance. So it’s an out-of-pocket cost. And we know that because licensing is so high for these three, that sometimes that cost can get carried onto the consumer and so many patients were looking forward to having more options to shop around for more affordable pricing.”
Click the video link above to watch our full interview with Finkel.