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Texas Lawmakers File Measures to Expand Medical Cannabis Law

- Sale of CBD Products Remains Questionable

After a tough 2015 legislative fight that established state-licensed, prescription-only, sale of low-level THC Cannabidiol (CBD) oil for a specific medical condition, lawmakers are back with several bills to expand the parameters of CBD oil availability. 

Additionally, Rep. Terry Canales, D-McAllen, has filed two bills which would alter legal definitions of what constitutes prosecutable THC product amounts.  CBD oil products have a very limited, and somewhat complicated, legal status under federal and state law.

Since passage of the 2015 state CBD oil law, local retailers have sought to sell CBD oil products and to advertise those wares on local Radio stations.  Many retailers claim their products contain no THC and are therefore legal, but field tests done in law enforcement raids in the past two years have turned up multiple instances of trace amounts of THC found in products, a prosecutable offense.   Raids on businesses with CBD-related products have taken place from Amarillo to Houston.

The Texas Department of State Health Services proposed CBD-related regulations but after taking comments, has not acted on them.  This seemingly gray area inhabited by CBD-related products has given attorneys with the three Texas law firms serving the TAB hotline the view that advertising such products is done at the station’s own risk. 

Under Texas law, there are only three outlets licensed in Texas that can sell low THC CBD oil products and only with a doctor’s prescription as a treatment for "intractable epilepsy."  To TAB’s knowledge, none of those vendors has seen a need to advertise – the epilepsy support community is well-aware of who they are.

In the past few weeks, four lawmakers have filed bills that would expand the types of medical conditions that could be prescribed treatment with CBD oil and that would establish a class of higher strength THC CBD oil.  The bills add a "debilitating medical condition" category which could be treated with prescription CBD oil.  The added conditions include cancer, glaucoma, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, or multiple sclerosis.

Sen. Roy West, D-Dallas; Sen. Jose Menendez, D-San Antonio; Rep. Eddie Lucio III, D-Brownsville; and Rep. Ron Reynolds, D-Dallas, have all filed measures in this regard.

TAB will be tracking all these bills to see what, if any changes, lawmakers enact that affect the legality of CBD oil or other cannabis-related products in Texas.  We’ll keep you informed if there are changes in the law that make the legality of advertising CBD-related products clearer.

Questions? Contact TAB’s Michael Schneider or call (512) 322-9944.

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