Saturday, February 4, 2023

Texas Will Have More Medical Cannabis Dispensaries; DPS opens applications for obtaining license

LAREDO, Texas. – In a bid to potentially add more medical cannabis dispensaries across the state, the Texas Department of Public Safety –DPS – launched an application process through which licenses to sell the product can be obtained.

Under the compassionate use program that opened Monday, dispensaries will be able to complete the process of obtaining a license, which will remain open through April 28.

According to the statement issued by DPS, the decision on how many licenses will be granted will be taken later. However, it is unlikely that results will be available before the summer if the Legislature passes legislation authorizing changes to the number of dispensaries allowed.

Wayne Mueller, head of DPS’s regulatory services division, told a DPS commission meeting in December that the agency would open the application process this month. But he said a decision on when to grant the license would not be made until June or July.

“This will help us to find out what is the real interest,” Mueller said.

In 2015, Texas passed a law legalizing the use of cannabis-related substances for medical purposes. But there were several restrictions regarding its terms and the amount of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis plant, that was allowed.

So the legislature expanded the list of medical conditions that could be treated under the Compassionate Use program a few years later.

It has licensed only three dispensaries to sell the product in Texas in the last three years; Two of them are located in Austin, and one in Schulenburg, about 100 miles west of San Antonio.

With only three dispensaries able to provide low-THC cannabidiol, some proponents of the product’s use are frustrated that there isn’t enough supply to meet demand.

In this regard, Nico Richardson, interim CEO of Compassionate Farming, one of three companies licensed in Texas, believes DPS’s move is premature. The entrepreneur believes that adding new sales permits would not be useful as licensed manufacturers can store the product only in the manufacturing facility.

“So if I want to see a patient in El Paso, and my facility is in Austin, I have to send a driver to El Paso to deliver the product or a patient to a delivery location in El Paso. And that Anything not picked up should be returned … as quickly as humanly possible,” Richardson said.

Thus, it is unclear whether the DPS proposal is the best decision, but it is known that the use of medical marijuana has increased in recent years. According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, 37 states and the District of Columbia have laws that allow consumption of the plant for medical purposes, so it’s important not to leave the issue unaddressed and to revise the laws for those are those who need it.

Nation World News Desk
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