Texas legislators are back in Austin for another round of policy considerations, and Rep. Eddie Lucio III has introduced HB 85, a medical cannabis improvement bill. This proposal would allow some patients to access whole plant cannabis, including those with terminal cancer, multiple sclerosis, autism, or Parkinson’s Disease.
This bill is more restrictive than the bill introduced during the regular session, but it would still be a major step forward for many seriously ill patients. Currently, the Compassionate Use Program only allows those with intractable epilepsy access to low-THC cannabis. Texas cannabis businesses are expected to be operational by the end of the year.
This will be a very politically charged special session, established to address a specific list of issues that Gov. Greg Abbott and other Texas conservatives consider priorities.
On Thursday, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed S. 16, a bill that will significantly improve patients’ access to Vermont’s medical marijuana program. The bill adds post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Parkinson’s disease, and Crohn’s disease to the list of qualifying conditions. It also authorizes an additional dispensary (bringing the statewide total to five), and it allows existing dispensaries to open one additional location each. When the patient registry reaches 7,000, an additional dispensary will be authorized.
You can read a complete summary of the bill here.
In other news, the governor’s office, legislative leaders, and advocates are making progress on a marijuana legalization compromise bill that could pass this summer during the veto session that is scheduled to begin on June 21.
The Vermont Legislature continues to make incremental progress on marijuana policy reform. The House Human Services Committee voted 10-0 to pass S. 16, a Senate-approved bill that would substantially improve the state’s medical cannabis program. As amended by the committee, S. 16 would add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Crohn’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease as qualifying conditions, and it would allow patients to grow their own plants without forfeiting their ability to purchase from dispensaries. It would also allow dispensaries to open additional locations in order to better serve patients.
If you are a Vermont resident, please call the House Speaker’s office today and urge House leaders to schedule a vote on the marijuana legalization bill. Adjournment is expected May 6, so please also email and call your own representatives today, and urge them to take action.