Today, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee met and hosted a hearing on HB 3703, a proposal to make low-THC cannabis available to those with all seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, and spasticity. Senator Donna Campbell has sponsored the bill in the Senate and offered a committee substitute of the legislation. (UPDATE: The bill was just voted unanimously out of committee. More updates to come.)
Some of the amendments to the bill include:
- In addition to seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, and spasticity, the bill would cover patients who have terminal cancer, incurable neurodegenerative disease, autism, and ALS.
- The bill would remove the requirement for approval of prescription from a second physician.
- The bill would remove the research component.
- The bill would remove the ability for dispensaries to operate more than one location.
- The bill would remove the requirement for third party testing of products.
- The bill would remove patient protections for students to use their medicine at school.
- The bill maintains the .5% THC cap of the current program.
Testimony was offered by medical experts, mother’s advocating for their children, famous athletes, veterans, and patients who will benefit from this bill and those that want to be included. Currently, only patients with intractable epilepsy are allowed to participate in T.CUP, severely limiting the number of Texans who can access this medicine. Many of those testifying at the hearing today were requesting that their condition be added to the program. Senators have an opportunity to amend HB 3703 to include more conditions such as cancer, PTSD, ulcerative colitis and others.
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