Medical Cannabis

4 minute read

Healthcare icon: grey heart with white cross insideOur Position

We support the continued expansion of the Texas Compassionate Use Program (TCUP) to cover more Texans and to give patients and their doctors greater control over determining the proper dosing levels of both CBD and THC to best meet the individual's need. We also see medical cannabis as a potentially significant source of state revenues and new jobs, as demonstrated in multiple states.

CTS supported HB 1805 (Klick) to expand the TCUP program to include chronic pain conditions, increase the THC cap to 5%, and allow the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to add additional debilitating conditions to the approved condition list. The bill passed the House but did not make it through the Senate.

The Latest

November 22, 2023: State House host Frank Santos and Dennis Borel talk healthcare, pharma, and Medicaid policy: The Challenges and Triumphs in Accessible Healthcare with Dennis Borel Part 1 (video)

May 23, 2023: Read our sponsored post in the Texas Tribune, A ray of hope: Texas Senate considers medical cannabis for chronic pain relief

April 20, 2023: The Houston Chronicle Editorial Board features our Chase Bearden in their support of HB 1805 and why the Legislature should continue to expand access to medical cannabis in Texas (paid subscription required).

April 11, 2023: The Texas Tribune quoted our Chase Bearden as they report that Expanded access to medical marijuana gains traction as Texas House passes bill


Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy

Supporting Organizations


In 2019, in accordance with the priorities of our membership and member organizations, CTD began advocating heavily for an expanded Texas Compassionate Use program (TCUP). At that time, policy on medical cannabis and qualifying conditions allowed access to safe and legal cannabis to less than 1% of Texans. We supported legislation that would:

Expand qualifying conditions and cannabis options

Ensure safe and legal access to cannabis through regulation

That year, we helped to pass a game-changing bill, HB 3703 (Klick), that extended the qualifying conditions for TCUP from only intractable epilepsy to: other kinds of epilepsy and seizure disorders, autism, MS, spasticity, terminal cancer, and incurable neurodegenerative diseases (like ALS and Parkinson’s).

This was a major development in a state that, only 3 legislative sessions before, had declared a hard NO to any medical cannabis policy. However, our work is not done. There remain many populations who would benefit enormously from access to safe, legal medical cannabis that were left behind by HB 3703: individuals with PTSD, depression and other mental health diagnoses, complex pain management needs, autoimmune disorders, cancer with any prognosis, and others. We know that Texans will continue to suffer because of lack of access to medical cannabis, and CTD will continue our work to expand access in 2021.

In addition, the progress made in 2019 on medical cannabis came with an unintended consequence: hemp, derived from the same plant, was legalized and remains largely unregulated. The result has been that numerous consumers left regulated medical cannabis for cheaper, unregulated hemp products. In 2021, legislators should recognize this change in environment and reform the medical cannabis laws with a goal to drive consumers to safer, regulated, and more effective products in the Texas Compassionate Use Program. With a state budget shortfall and unemployment caused by the coronavirus crisis, additional TCUP reform could be a source of state revenues and new jobs as demonstrated in other states.

Further Reading