AUSTIN (Nexstar) — One Texas leader in medical marijuana is serving its first patient after changes to the state law.
Lawmakers updated the state’s Compassionate Use Act, which was created in 2015 to create a system for physicians to prescribe low-THC cannabis to patients diagnosed with intractable epilepsy. House Bill 3703, filed by Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth, and passed by state lawmakers this year, expands the Texas Compassionate Use Program to serve patients who have terminal cancer, autism, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), seizure disorders and incurable neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s Disease. All forms of epilepsy are now covered under the law, which took effect in June.
The Texas Department of Public Safety oversees and regulates the program.
“The Compassionate Use Registry has undergone the modifications necessary to allow the registration of physicians with these additional specialties and to allow prescriptions for the additional conditions,” the agency’s website states.
According to DPS, only three licenses had been approved as of Dec. 2017. One of those license-holders is Compassionate Cultivation. The company announced it is the first dispensary to provide medical cannabis to a Texas patient under the updated state law — a cancer patient in the Austin area.
“More Texans now qualify for state-regulated, low-THC medical cannabis,” Compassionate Cultivation CEO Morris Denton said. “We are prepared to bring cannabis-based medicine to patients… suffering from these new conditions by developing a variety of formulations—all available with the active participation and oversight of a registered physician.”
Compassionate Cultivation announced a new formulation of its medical cannabis concentrated liquid herbal extract, which has a 3:1 ratio of CBD to THC.
“This is just the beginning of giving Texas doctors a broader selection of cannabis-based medicines to prescribe for a wider array of qualifying medical conditions,” Dr. Karen Keough, child neurologist and Chief Medical Officer for Compassionate Cultivation, said. “By developing this new formulation, Compassionate Cultivation is addressing the growing demand for regulated cannabis-based medicine, while increasing the likelihood of more positive patient outcomes.”
The updated Texas law keeps the state’s current dose restriction at .5% THC. THC is the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana.