In Texas, the Compassionate Use Program (CUP) allows Texans with limited conditions to access low-THC cannabis oil. Recently, PTSD and cancer were added to the list of qualifying conditions.
However, the CUP is still extremely limited. Empowering physicians to recommend medical marijuana will provide patients with more options for relief.
Medical cannabis in TX has become a popular alternative to traditional pain medications, particularly opioids. It has a lower risk of addiction and virtually no association with overdose. Additionally, it may help treat conditions that aren’t responsive to other medications, such as Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
In Texas, patients with one of a dozen qualifying conditions can receive low-THC cannabis with a doctor’s prescription. The state’s Compassionate Use Registry Texas program (CURT) maintains a list of physicians who can write these prescriptions. Those with approved diseases or symptoms can access cannabis through creams, sprays, suppositories, or tablets.
However, chronic pain is not among the approved conditions. The state legislature is considering ways to address this issue. Recently, a Texas House committee approved a bill sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Klick that would allow doctors to prescribe up to 10 milligrams of cannabis for chronic pain cases that normally warrant an opioid prescription. This bill has been sent to the Senate for consideration. If you have a CURT-approved prescription, you can purchase cannabis at certain licensed pharmacies and private dispensaries.
In Texas, medical cannabis is prescribed to patients with several neurological conditions. Medicinal marijuana also treats chronic pain, anxiety and other symptoms. Dispensaries provide patients with high-quality products in various forms, such as tinctures, pills, gummies and edibles that can be consumed orally.
The state’s program began in 2015, allowing physicians to prescribe low-THC cannabis for patients with certain neurological disorders. It was then expanded in 2019 and 2021 to enable it for people who have cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Patients can purchase cannabis from dispensaries with a prescription from their doctor, which is then entered into the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas. This means that a patient does not need a card to buy marijuana but must meet the eligibility requirements and be a permanent resident. People under 18 must have a legal guardian listed on their initial application.
Currently, there are only three licensed dispensaries in the state. The Department of Public Safety is opening an application process to add more, but that decision won’t be made until the legislature returns this summer.
Medical marijuana is a great way for patients with chronic pain to alleviate their symptoms, as it is less addictive than opioids and has no link to overdose or death. However, to get a prescription for low-THC cannabis, you must visit a physician registered with the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT). The CURT website has a search engine to help you find certified physicians near you.
Suppose your doctor decides that the benefits of medicinal marijuana outweigh the risks. In that case, they will enter a prescription in the CURT system, which you can use at any licensed dispensary in Texas. The CURT website also has an FAQ section that answers many common questions about the program.
There is no age minimum to qualify for a medicinal marijuana card, but minors must have a legal guardian listed on their initial application. People on probation with a valid CURT prescription may buy cannabis, but they must first obtain consent from their supervising probation officer. Additionally, patients with a criminal record should be aware that they could still run into legal trouble if they smoke or ingest low-THC cannabis without the express consent of their probation officer.
Unlike some states, Texas has a limited list of conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana. However, the state’s legislative session in 2021 expanded that list to include cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This was a significant win for many patients who suffer from conditions like fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis, as they could finally receive relief without the risk of addiction or overdose.
In addition, the limit on THC has been doubled from 0.5% to 1%. This allows physicians to prescribe cannabis that can be used in edibles, oils, and tinctures but not smoked.
To qualify for a medicinal cannabis prescription, patients must be permanent residents of the state, have one of the approved conditions, and be registered with CURT, which stands for Compassionate Use Registry of Texas. Doctors must also be state-approved and registered to prescribe the drug. To get started, find a physician registered with CURT through the Department of Public Safety’s search engine. Then, submit your documentation, including a doctor’s prescription and proof of the condition.
While many states are moving towards full legalization, Texas remains strict with its medical marijuana laws. It only allows a small number of patients to purchase low-THC cannabis products. According to Texas Original, those patients must have a valid prescription from a physician registered with the state’s Compassionate Use Program. Klick’s HB 1805 bill would expand the list of qualifying conditions to include chronic pain cases that call for an opioid prescription. This has rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease. It also changes how THC is measured, allowing doctors to prescribe doses as high as 10 milligrams. A doctor could administer that medication in edibles, sprays, tinctures, suppositories or patches rather than smoking it.
Qualified patients can obtain low-THC marijuana at any licensed dispensary in the state, provided they are registered with CURT. They must provide their last name, date of birth, photo identification and the last five digits of their social security number. Those over 18 can purchase their own medicine; those under 18 must have a designated caregiver. Those who qualify cannot grow their marijuana at home, nor can they cultivate other plants for medicinal purposes.