Texas law expanding medical marijuana takes effect Sept. 1

Texas

MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A law that will expand the use of medical marijuana in Texas is going into effect on Sept. 1.

“Every condition being treated with medical marijuana is dosed very differently, its consumers very differently,” said Dr. Sujan Gogu a Family, Sports, and Pain Medicine Doctor at South Texas Health System Clinics.

The expanded law under the Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana will now be open for people like veterans who suffer from PTSD, cancer patients, and other medical conditions. According to Dr. Gogu, there is still a process that has to be followed. 

“You’d go to your primary care physician and you’d talk about the condition you have and see if it’s a viable option for you, it may or may not be a viable option for you,” he said.

What happens after the doctor approves your use of medical marijuana with other specialists?

Considering there isn’t a dispensary in the Rio Grande Valley and only a few in the state of Texas, Dr. Gogu said the process could take longer. 

“It would probably be pharmacies that have compounding pharmacies part of their system that would carry a level of THC or specialty pharmacies that would carry it,” he said.

Dr. Gogu added that your primary care doctor also has to have a good relationship with those pharmacies that carry it, but said there are other hurdles that patients could face. 

“It’s just not widely available, and it’s just not widely known and there’s just not many physicians that are comfortable prescribing it,” said Dr. Gogu.

While the Texas law has made progress since 2015, Dr. Gogu is hopeful once the expansion takes effect, access to medical marijuana will be easier for qualifying patients.

“Once education comes out. I think it will be readily more available for people but I still think it’s relatively limited right now,” he added.

The new law also raises the dosage limit of THC from .5% to 1%.

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