Texas is expanding access to medical marijuana for patients suffering from opioid-prescribed pain. House Bill 1805, approved by by House Public Committee, marks a significant step towards addressing the opioid epidemic.

State’s lawmakers have also approved a measure to increase the THC limit cap. Allowing patients to benefit from higher levels of the compound as an alternative to traditional pain management treatments. HB 1805 replaces the one percent THC cap for cannabis oil instead with a volumetric dose of 10 milligrams

Currently, the following conditions are approved for medical marijuana prescriptions.

Texas Compassionate Use Act:

  • Epilepsy
  • Seizure disorders
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Spasticity
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Autism
  • Cancer
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • An incurable neurodegenerative disease

The new legislation expands the list of qualifying conditions to include those suffering from chronic pain, which is a significant milestone for medical marijuana advocates in the state. Supporters of the bill argue that marijuana is a safer alternative to opioids.

Texas NORML Executive Director Jax James “feel confident” that the expansion bill will be approved on the House floor after clearing committee, as reported by Marijuana Moment.

“However, we encourage our fellow Texans to reach out to their representatives in support of this legislation, as well as their senators in expectation of it crossing over,”

she said.

“The legislature moves quickly and we must ensure these important changes are codified for Texas patients.”

Texas Opioid Epidemic

According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Lone Star State has seen a staggering surge in drug overdose fatalities. The CDC estimates that Texas lost more than 5,000 lives to drug overdoses between July 2021 and July 2022.

Of particular concern is the alarming increase in overdose deaths related to fentanyl. The CDC report shows that fatalities involving this potent synthetic opioid skyrocketed by 399%. With 1,662 deaths recorded in fiscal year 2021, compared to 333 in 2019.

This trend underscores the urgent need for effective measures to combat the opioid epidemic in Texas and beyond.

The legislation, authored by Rep. Stephanie Klick (R) and backed by advocates, remain optimistic. Seeing HB 1805 as an important step towards addressing key health issues in the Lone Star State.

Vice chair of the House public health committee and Rep. Liz Campos (D) said she wants to work with Rep. Klick on HB 1805.

“I think it’s going to be a bipartisan issue, and hopefully we can get it across,”

Campos said.

“Chairwoman Klick is a Republican, and she’s really pushing forward, because she’s a nurse and she understands it. And so I think we are going to be successful.”

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