Bill advanced to expand Texas’ medical marijuana programPosted by On


TEXAS — Expanding Texas’ medical marijuana program has bipartisan support. But the legislative clock is ticking down and advocates are pushing lawmakers to get it over the finish line in the final few days of the session. 

The Texas House overwhelmingly approved the expansion measure last month. Late Monday, a Senate committee unanimously passed its version, but it must receive approval by the full Senate by a Wednesday deadline. 

“We have really been working hard the last couple days, activating the patients that need this program to help get this bill moving, and we are so thankful that the Lt. Governor and the senators allowed this special hearing to let it advance. I don’t think they would do that if they didn’t want it to become law,” said Jax Finkel, executive director of Texas NORML. 

House Bill 1535 would expand the state’s medical cannabis program to include all cancer patients and Texans with post-traumatic stress disorder. The Department of State Health Services would also be able to add qualifying conditions instead of leaving that to lawmakers. 

“We have 1.4 million veterans in this state and we have a lot of people who have survived traumatic events that will benefit from this,” Finkel said. “In addition, you shouldn’t have to have terminal cancer to be able to use this therapeutic plant, so we’re glad it will be available to all cancer patients.” 

The original legislation also included chronic pain patients, which Finkel is hopeful will…

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TEXAS — Expanding Texas’ medical marijuana program has bipartisan support. But the legislative clock is ticking down and advocates are pushing lawmakers to get it over the finish line in the final few days of the session. 

The Texas House overwhelmingly approved the expansion measure last month. Late Monday, a Senate committee unanimously passed its version, but it must receive approval by the full Senate by a Wednesday deadline. 

“We have really been working hard the last couple days, activating the patients that need this program to help get this bill moving, and we are so thankful that the Lt. Governor and the senators allowed this special hearing to let it advance. I don’t think they would do that if they didn’t want it to become law,” said Jax Finkel, executive director of Texas NORML. 

House Bill 1535 would expand the state’s medical cannabis program to include all cancer patients and Texans with post-traumatic stress disorder. The Department of State Health Services would also be able to add qualifying conditions instead of leaving that to lawmakers. 

“We have 1.4 million veterans in this state and we have a lot of people who have survived traumatic events that will benefit from this,” Finkel said. “In addition, you shouldn’t have to have terminal cancer to be able to use this therapeutic plant, so we’re glad it will be available to all cancer patients.” 

The original legislation also included chronic pain patients, which Finkel is hopeful will…



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