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Texas Senate Approves Bill To Expand State's Medical Marijuana Program

Julia Reihs

The Texas Senate approved a bill Tuesday night that would make more Texans eligible to be prescribed low-THC medical cannabis oil.

House Bill 1535 would add more conditions to the Texas Compassionate Use Program, including all forms of cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder.

But the Senate's version of the bill differs greatly from the one the House had advanced. The bill originally called for the THC limit in cannabis oil to increase tenfold from 0.5% to 5%, but the Senate approved raising that limit to just 1%.

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana.

Many advocates who testified in favor of the original bill argued a 5% cap on THC was either too low or completely unnecessary, arguing that any decision about limits on the amount of the compound should be made between a patient and their physician.

The bill now heads to a conference committee for negotiation.

Copyright 2021 KUT 90.5

Jerry Quijano is a producer and host. A native south Texan, he joined the KUT staff after graduating from Texas A&M University-San Antonio. Jerry was part of NPR’s Next Generation initiative at KUT in 2017. When he’s not in the studio, Jerry enjoys collecting vinyl records.