Relatively few people know that Texas has a medical cannabis program. Even fewer know about the innovative treatments being developed just south of Austin and distributed throughout Texas.
The only Texas-built and owned medical cannabis operator, Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation (Texas Original), is working to make the highest quality medical cannabis a Texas tradition. Texas Original is fundamentally changing our understanding of the body’s relationship between cannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system, and developing treatments to provide relief for potentially millions of Texans.
A recent development and slight improvement to the legislation regarding medical cannabis in Texas is the signing of HB 1535.
HB 1535 was signed into law by Governor Abbott and will come into effect on September 1, 2021. This legislation allows PTSD and all cancer diagnoses to qualify under the Texas Compassionate Use Act (SB 339) and increases the THC limit from 0.5% to 1%. Under current law, 2 million Texans are eligible for the Compassionate Use Program; however, only 6000 are enrolled.
Moreover, opioid consumption in Texas is up 35 percent since the pandemic began in March 2020. Texas Original is advocating for an opioid alternative program in the state of Texas in the light of supportive pain management research in cannabis.
In 2019, Researchers from the San Francisco VA Medical Center published a study reporting that “41 percent of opioid users reported a decrease or cessation of opioid use due to replacing it with cannabis.” In states with a medical cannabis program, a 14 percent reduction in opioid prescriptions was reported in a study from the University of Georgia.
The implications of opioid consumption go further than public health; the opioid epidemic costs Texas $20 billion annually, according to a report released by cannabis consultancy Nucleus One.
“While other states are busy implementing sophisticated medical cannabis programs and tackling the country’s opioid epidemic, more than 1 million Texans continue to misuse prescription pain relievers because they are prohibited from accessing effective alternatives. If elected officials fail to embrace the power and truth of medical cannabis, we will continue to needlessly lose thousands of our fellow Texans to ineffective treatments.” – Morris Denton, CEO of Texas Original.