The first medical marijuana dispensary in Texas is open for business. This has been a long time coming for the small group of patients who qualify for participation under the state’s medical marijuana program.In 2015, Cannabidiol (CBD) was legalized for specific conditions. Since then, patients have been wondering when it will be available in dispensaries. Well, the wait appears to be over. Local reports indicate that Compassionate Cultivation in Austin opened its doors on Thursday.
The medical marijuana dispensary is located about 25 miles south of Austin. This is the first dispensary in the entire state with cannabis oil to sell. Last month, High Times reported that Compassionate Cultivation was in the process of prepping its initial cannabis crop for extraction. The dispensary’s CEO Morris Denton said the first batch of CBD oil, commonly referred to as “Charlotte’s Web,” would be available around February. The company has made good on its word, which means patients finally have a legal connection.
What Medical Marijuana Means For Texas
Three years ago, Governor Greg Abbott signed the Compassionate Use Act into law. This gave patients suffering from certain types of epilepsy the freedom to use “low-THC” cannabis oil. The herb was to be an alternative to prescription drugs. At the bill’s signing, Abbott said, “There is currently no cure for intractable epilepsy and many patients have had little to no success with currently approved drugs. However, we have seen promising results from CBD oil testing and with the passage of this legislation, there is now hope for thousands of families who deal with the effects of intractable epilepsy every day.”
But hope quickly turned to frustration. Even with CBD oil legal, patients had only two options. They could wait for legal access or smuggle it in from a legal state. Many chose the latter – putting them at risk for federal prosecution. Others continued to hold on for legal sales. They soon learned that, even for those with intractable epilepsy, there are no guarantees.
How Do You Get CBD Oil in Texas?
The short answer: It isn’t easy. There are only three CBD providers to service the entire state. And only one of them (Compassionate Cultivation) has CBD oil ready to go. To make matters more complicated, patients with “intractable epilepsy” must first receive recommendations from two different doctors before given the green light. But even this part is tricky. There are presently only 17 physicians who support medical marijuana patients. So, the process can take some time.
Once a doctor signs the appropriate paperwork, a patient is entered into a database. This signifies that they have been cleared to purchase CBD oil. From there, a patient can pick up the medicine from a nearby dispensary. In some cases, a dispensary may even deliver CBD directly to a patient’s home. Compassionate Cultivation says it will deliver cannabis oil anywhere in Texas for a modest delivery fee of $25.
Final Hit: First Medical Marijuana Dispensary In Texas Open For Business
The first medical marijuana dispensary in Texas is well on its way to serving its first round of patients. Their first medical marijuana patient was a six-year-old girl with epilepsy. The Epilepsy Foundation says there are around 150,000 people that could qualify for CBD oil under the Compassionate Use law. But Governor Abbott remains adamant that no additional marijuana-related bills will pass on his watch. Still, lawmakers will start pushing for a more comprehensive medical marijuana program later this year. They are eager to get a jump on the 2019 legislation session.
But the resistance is strong in the Lone Star state. Law enforcement remains opposed to marijuana legalization, including the sale of cannabis seeds, at any level. In fact, the Texas Sheriff’s Association published a report with respect to giving epilepsy patients access to CBD medicine. The group believes additional research is needed to determine whether the herb has medicinal value.