Texas Lawmakers Approve GOP-Led Bill Approving Medical Marijuana As Alternative To Opioids For Pain

Lawmakers in the Lone Star State gave the green light to a measure under which doctors can recommend medical cannabis instead of opioids to patients with chronic pain caused by a myriad of conditions, reported Marijuana Moment.

The Texas House Public Health Committee passed the bill from Rep. Stephanie Klick (R) on Monday. In addition to expanding the list of conditions for which patients can qualify for low-THC medical cannabis, the legislation also seeks to replace the THC cap under the state's current medical cannabis law.

Initially, the bill sought to replace the limit from a one percent THC cap for cannabis oil to five percent THC content, but it was amended to include a volumetric dose method instead, setting a limit at a volumetric dose of 10 milligrams. Additionally, the Department of State Health Services would be permitted to specify "debilitating medical conditions" that qualify for the program under the bill.

House Bill 1805 is now headed to the Calendars Committee to be scheduled for consideration by the full chamber. The measure would take effect as of Sept. 1, 2023, if it is enacted.

The latest legislative move came on the heels of efforts to decriminalize marijuana possession statewide. Earlier this month, Texas lawmakers held a hearing on House Bill 218 from Rep. Joe Moody (D) that would reduce penalties for possession of cannabis and cannabis concentrates.

Meanwhile, as the trend of opioid misuse continues, new findings presented by researchers from the Universities of Florida, Southern California and Purdue might help tackle the issue, which has so far resulted in over 106,000 drug overdose deaths in 2021, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to a recent study, direct payments from opioid manufacturers to physicians have significantly decreased following the legalization of medical cannabis.

Photo: Courtesy of Kimzy Nanney on Unsplash

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Posted In: CannabisGovernmentNewsRegulationsHealth CarePoliticsMarketsGeneralbillcannabis legalizationCBDchronic painmedical marijuanaStephanie KlickTexas Cannabis
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