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Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill Introduced in Texas

by Faith Fidura December 04, 2018

texasflagvinatgeSen. José Menéndez has pre-filed Senate Bill 90 for the next legislative session (beginning January 8, 2019) to expand the state’s current limited medical marijuana program. The bill would increase the number of "debilitating" medical conditions that qualify for the Texas Compassionate Use Program.

Currently, the state’s limited medical marijuana program only allows patients with intractable epilepsy to potentially access medical marijuana treatment.

The bill would expand the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana treatment to include 25 additional “debilitating” medical conditions:

Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, sickle cell anemia, severe fibromyalgia, spinal cord disease, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury or post-concussion syndrome, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, or Huntington ’s disease; a chronic medical condition that produces, or the treatment of a chronic medical condition that produces: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe pain; severe nausea; seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis; or any other medical condition approved as a debilitating medical condition by department rule or any symptom caused by the treatment of a medical condition that is approved as a debilitating medical condition by department rule.

Texas Medical Marijuana Business Types 

A Dispensing Organization is an organization licensed by the department to cultivate, process, and dispense medical cannabis to a patient for whom medical use is recommended. 

If the bill passes, demand will grow dramatically as more patients are able to access the program and the state will need to license additional dispensing organizations to meet the need. 

Those interested in applying for a dispensing organization license will pay an application fee of $2,500 and an annual license fee of $5,000 if/when the license is awarded. Interested parties will have to show the following:

  • The technical and technological ability to cultivate and produce medical cannabis
  • The ability to secure the resources and personnel necessary to operate as a dispensing organization
  • The premises are reasonably located to allow patients listed on the compassionate-use registry access to the organization through existing infrastructure;
  • The ability to maintain accountability for the raw materials, the finished product, and any by-products used or produced in the cultivation or production of medical cannabis to prevent unlawful access to or unlawful diversion or possession of those materials, products, or by-products
  • The financial ability to maintain operation for not less than two years from the date of application;


A Cannabis Testing Facility is an independent entity licensed by the department under this chapter to analyze the safety and potency of medical cannabis.

The Public Safety Director of the Department of Health shall adopt all rules necessary for the licensing and regulation of cannabis testing facilities and the directors, managers, and employees of those facilities, the operation of cannabis testing facilities, and the testing of the safety and potency of medical cannabis.


Interested in Applying for a Texas Medical Marijuana Business License?

TXappguide_largeIt’s never too early to begin preparing for when the state expands their current medical marijuana program and opens applications for additional dispensing organizations. To learn all that will be involved in the application process and how to best prepare, download our Texas Dispensary Application Guide.

The guide provides a step-by-step checklist of over 100 action items to complete prior to submitting your application for a marijuana business license and covers topics such as financial planning, real estate tasks, staffing, and more. 

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