Medical marijuana expansion bill gets initial approval from Texas House

Texas Politics

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — More Texans would qualify for medicinal marijuana under an expansion of the state’s Compassionate Use program, which passed the Texas House.

House Bill 1535 grows the state’s medical marijuana program to include all Texans with cancer. People with chronic pain and debilitating medical conditions would also qualify. HB 1535 was amended Wednesday to include all forms of diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), rather than for veterans with PTSD as it was initially introduced.

“We need to include [survivors] in that sexual assault is more likely to cause PTSD than any other event,” State Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth, said Wednesday.

The legislation also raises the limit for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)— the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana— from 0.5% to 5% by weight.

The bill must be read a third time on the House floor for final passage. If it clears the House, it heads to the Senate for approval.

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

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