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Frequently Asked Legal Questions

Find answers to common questions in our searchable FAQ.

2395 views   |   3   |   Last updated on Apr 16, 2019    Criminal Law

Recently the library has been receiving many questions about cannabidiol oil, also known as CBD oil. Below is information about the Compassionate Use Program. Outside the provisions set out in the Texas Compassionate-Use Act, our librarians have not been able to locate any Texas statutes that address the use of “medical marijuana” or other medical cannabis products.

In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed the Compassionate-Use Act (SB 339). This act added Chapter 487 of the Texas Health and Safety Code and amended several other sections of the Health and Safety Code and Occupations Code. Chapter 169 of the Occupations Code sets out who may prescribe “low-THC cannabis” to certain patients.

The Texas Department of Public Safety regulates dispensaries authorized by the Compassionate-Use Act. Rules and regulations related to the Compassionate Use Program can be found in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 37, Part 1, Chapter 12.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has provided answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Compassionate Use Program on their website. Here are some selected FAQs:

What is "Low-THC Cannabis"?
Texas Occupations Code Sec. 169.001 defines "Low-THC Cannabis" as the plant Cannabis sativa L., and any part of that plant or any compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, preparation, resin, or oil of that plant that contains:
A. not more than 0.5 percent by weight of tetrahydrocannabinols; and
B. not less than 10 percent by weight of cannabidiol.

What medical conditions are covered under this program?
The Compassionate Use Program is statutorily limited to patients in Texas with intractable epilepsy. Adding conditions will require legislative action.

What protections will patients and legal guardians have against criminal prosecution?
Texas Health and Safety Code Sec. 481.111(e)(1) provides exemptions from state laws prohibiting possession of marijuana for patients (and their legal guardians) for whom low-THC cannabis is prescribed under a valid prescription from a dispensing organization.

Will patients be able to grow their own cannabis?
No. Only licensed dispensers will be able grow cannabis and only for use in the production of low-THC cannabis. Patients are required to purchase low-THC cannabis products from a licensed dispensing organization.

The Texas Controlled Substances Act (Health and Safety Code, Ch. 481) defines marijuana (spelled "marihuana") and sets criminal penalties for possession, delivery, and delivery to a child.

Marijuana is listed as a Schedule I drug in the Federal Controlled Substances Act (21 USC Sec. 812).

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