If passed by the upper chamber of the Texas legislature and signed into law by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott,
Texas Medical Marijuana Bill Adds Chronic Pain as Qualifying Condition
The legislation would also add chronic pain as a qualifying condition to use medical marijuana, giving patients a new alternative to powerful but risky opioid painkillers. The bill brings the number of qualifying conditions for the state’s compassionate use program to 10 and allows the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to add new qualifying conditions to the program through the agency’s rule-making process.
“My intent then and still is to have a truly medical program that follows the scientific data,”
HB 1805 was unanimously approved without vocal opposition in the Public Health Committee last month. The measure was approved without debate on the House floor this week and will now head to the Texas Senate, where opposition from Republican leaders has killed many previous efforts to reform the state’s cannabis policy.
Currently, only patients with
Patient Calls For Passage of HB 1805
Elizabeth Miller, a Texas resident who has a joint disease known as hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, testified at last month’s hearing of the House Public Health Committee, telling lawmakers that the state should include more illnesses as conditions that qualify a patient to use medical marijuana. She said that the state program is “overly narrow and leaves out many Texans who would benefit from cannabis as medicine,” including patients such as herself,
If passed by the Texas Senate, the bill would also have to be signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who opposes legalizing recreational marijuana but has indicated support for decriminalizing cannabis. In 2021, the governor signed a previous medical marijuana expansion bill that added
“One thing that I believe in, and I believe the state Legislature believes in, and that is prison and jail is a place for dangerous criminals who may harm others,”
HB 1805 is not the only cannabis policy reform bill currently making its way through the Texas state legislature. HB 218, a proposal unanimously approved by a House legislative committee month, would decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis. Another measure, HB 1937, would allow counties and municipalities to legalize recreational marijuana at the local level. Of all the proposed legislation, Klick’s bill, which enjoys broad Republican support, is most likely to gain the approval of Texas state lawmakers.