Texas Senate approves expansion of medical marijuana program

Texas Politics

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect that the bill must head to the Texas House again for approval before going to the governor. It also reflects that the Senate removed chronic pain as a covered condition.

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — The Texas Senate advanced an expansion of the state’s medical marijuana program Tuesday night.

House Bill 1535 grows the state’s medical marijuana program to include all Texans with cancer. People with debilitating medical conditions would also qualify, but the Senate removed part of a House provision that would have added all chronic pain patients. HB 1535 was amended in the House to include all forms of diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), rather than for veterans with PTSD as it was initially introduced.

The legislation was amended to raise the limit for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana — from 0.5% to 1% by weight.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety records, there were 4,919 patients in the system.

The legislation goes back to the House for approval, before it can advance to the Governor’s desk.

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