AUSTIN (Nexstar) — The state’s top agriculture official wants to learn more about how marijuana is cultivated for medicinal purposes, in light of updates to the Compassionate Use Program in Texas.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller toured Compassionate Cultivation on Thursday. The Austin-area facility is one of three in the state licensed to grow marijuana for medicinal use.
“My purpose of coming today is to learn all I can about hemp, about THC, about medical marijuana,” Miller said.
“I want to see what they’re doing out here, and how they’re able to help so many people,” he explained.
Last legislative session, lawmakers approved allowing low-THC cannabis to be prescribed to treat conditions including epilepsy, autism, multiple sclerosis and terminal cancer.
After meeting with a group of parents whose children use medical marijuana for autism and other conditions, Miller said he was in favor of expanding the use even further.
“I would certainly expand medical marijuana. If it’ll help somebody, I’m for it. Whatever it is. I mean, a toothache, I don’t care. If it’s a cure, if it [alleviates] pain, we should be able to use that,” he said.
“I’m not a recreational marijuana, but if someone has a condition that this chemical will help, they should be able to use it,” Miller said.
Morris Denton is the chief executive officer of Compassionate Cultivation.
“We’re creating a great product that’s changing people’s lives, and there’s a lot of real credibility in the medicine that we produce, as evidenced by the thousands of patients and the tens of thousands of their family members that are seeing the benefit,” Denton said.
Miller also hoped to glean details on the budding success of medical marijuana in Texas, to improve the the state’s new hemp licensing program.
“We’re nearing the harvest time for our hemp,” Miller said. “We have over 1,000 producers, over 5,000 acres.”
As of last week, the state had approved 46 hemp processor licenses and nine hemp testing laboratories (three of which are located out of state).