Dan Patrick again blocking effort to expand Texas’ medical marijuana program, advocates say
House Bill 1535 would expand the state’s medical cannabis program to include those with chronic pain, all cancer patients and Texans with post-traumatic stress disorder. But it hasn’t yet been referred to a Senate committee.
San Antonio state lawmakers looking to expand marijuana use in the state
SAN ANTONIO – Texas lawmakers have begun filing bills for the upcoming legislative session and there are already more than a dozen bills regarding marijuana use and decriminalization. The new bill proposals come off the heels of five more states legalizing marijuana for full medical use or recreational use. “The people of Texas are tired of marijuana prohibition,” Heather Fazio the director of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy said. The Compassionate Use Act in Texas only allows a small amount of medical marijuana to certain patients. The 86th Legislative session begins on Jan. 8.
The unexpected winner on election night? Drugs
While we may not know if President Donald Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden won the presidential election for a while longer, there was one clear “winner” on election night, and that was recreational drugs. States across the country have been legalizing recreational marijuana every election cycle, and 2020 was no different. Residents in New Jersey, Arizona, Montana and South Dakota all voted to legalize recreational cannabis, and South Dakota also legalized medical marijuana, along with Mississippi. South Dakota became the first state to legalize medical and recreational marijuana in the same election. For the first time in U.S. history, the state of Oregon decriminalized possession of hard drugs, as well as voted to legalize psychedelic mushrooms.
Hemp farm just outside Boerne sees growth in first crop
SAN ANTONIO – Hemp farming has begun in Texas this year and one set of farmers outside Boerne says they have some of the first crops in the state. The Texas Department of Agriculture began licensing farmers and businesses early this year to grow hemp after the state legislature greenlit farming of the plant. Pur IsoLabs in Bergheim, 10 miles east of Boerne off Highway 46, is one of the first to be licensed. Ruple and his wife Jennifer own Pur IsoLabs and have sold hemp products for the past five years, now they are expanding their business by starting to grow hemp right next to their store. This is just the beginning for the hemp farm industry, the future looks very promising for a plant that can be used in many ways.
'This ain't your mother's marijuana,' surgeon general says
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Surgeon General Jerome Adams made the announcement, with Azar calling marijuana "a dangerous drug." It's a commonly used drug among youths, they said, along with alcohol and e-cigarettes. Among pregnant women, marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug, with about 7% reporting they had used it within the past month in a 2017 study. HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir said pregnant women taking marijuana to relieve morning sickness should stop. Taking marijuana for morning sickness has never been shown to be safe and effective."
Why marijuana remains a Schedule I drug, the highest classification in federal law
The classification of marijuana as a Schedule I substance remains a controversial topic. Sparking debate: The push for medical marijuana legislation in TexasThe act established a federal U.S. drug policy under which certain substances are regulated. Despite Congress initially passing the act, the classification of substances are determined only by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA also considers marijuana to have a high potential for abuse, another key factor in Schedule I classification. The DEA announced in December that marijuana extracts, including cannabidiol or CBD, fall under Schedule I drug classification, making all forms of the plant illegal federally.
Last week, Congress passed a farm bill that's expected to be signed into law by President Donald Trump. Among the provisions included in the massive piece of legislation -- hemp would be removed from the list of federally controlled substances and treated like any other agricultural crop. So now that hemp is almost legal, the video above explains what you need to know about the plant. Read some of KSAT's other stories related to cannabis below:Bill calls for state regulation of hemp, nonpsychoactive form of cannabisTexas stores selling cannabis extract cannabidiol popping upABCs of CBD: What you need to know
Bill filed Monday calls for state regulation of hemp, nonpsychoactive form of cannabis
State Sen. Jose Menendez filed a lengthy bill Monday that includes details about regulation, licensing and research. Cannabidiol, or CBD, an active cannabinoid in hemp, is used by many people for health purposes. Marijuana, which contains THC, gets you high, while CBD does not. The bill not only calls for regulation of what's inside the CBD products but also licensing. The Department of State Health Services had proposed to ban and regulate certain CBD products but recently backed off.
Cannabis-derived, FDA-approved drug one step closer to patients with rare epilepsy disorders
SAN ANTONIO – The Drug Enforcement Administration has moved U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs containing cannibidiol, or CBD, to Schedule V of the Controlled Substances Act. The order places drugs that are FDA-approved and contain no more than 0.1 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — the compound in cannabis that gives the user euphoric effects — in Schedule V, the DEA said. Drugs in the Schedule V category include substances containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. The FDA approved the drug Epidiolex, an oral solution that contains CBD, for medical use in the United States to treat two rare forms of epilepsy for patients 2 years or older. Currently, the state’s Compassionate Use Act allows for some qualifying epilepsy patients to access treatment with no more than 0.5 percent THC.
ABCs of CBD: What you need to know
But not much research has been done, so it’s hard to know whether CBD is effective. Laws vary from state to state, so it can also be difficult to know what’s legal. The CBD products sold on most store shelves have little to no tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the chemical that makes you feel high. The legality of the CBD products you can buy online, at a store or at a dispensary can be confusing. As for various store purchases, the Department of State Health Services recently backed off its proposal to ban and regulate certain CBD products.
‘Nobody expects it here': Cannabis businesses getting ahead before green rush hits Texas
SAN ANTONIO – Marijuana may be illegal in Texas, but one group of entrepreneurs is making its mark in the cannabis space in San Antonio. Green Seed Cannabis Business Accelerator is a program that’s helping cannabis entrepreneurs achieve their next level of growth. “What we did is we launched a half-day, deep-dive strategic planning session for cannabis business owners, and then we set a goal. Green Seed Cannabis Business Accelerator enrolled six companies right away, and it now has a waitlist of four other companies. To learn more about Green Seed Cannabis Business Accelerator, visit its website.
For first time ever, FDA approves marijuana-derived medicine
Washington – For the first time ever, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a marijuana-derived drug. RELATED: Texas GOP in favor of marijuana decriminalizationNot only is the first marijuana-derived drug approved by the FDA, but the first FDA approval of a drug for the treatment of patients with Dravet syndrome. The component in this newly approved drug is CBD (cannabidiol), which is part of the sativa marijuana plant. And, the FDA is committed to this kind of careful scientific research and drug development,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D, said. The FDA is approving this new drug, despite it still being considered a Schedule 1 drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Who qualifies to get medical cannabis in Texas?
SAN ANTONIO – The Texas Compassionate Use Act now makes medical cannabis available to certain people. Related: Go inside one of the first medical cannabis dispensaries in TexasWho qualifies? Finding a doctorIn Texas right now there are only 21 doctors who are registered with the state to prescribe medical cannabis. Here's the list of doctors:Dr. Linda Leary - 8300 Floyd Curl Dr., San Antonio, TX 78229Dr. Lola Morgan - 8300 Floyd Curl Dr., San Antonio, TX 78229Dr. Kelly Averill - 4502 Medical Dr., San Antonio, TX 78229Dr. Charles Szabo - 8300 Floyd Curl Dr., San Antonio, TX 78229Dr. Colin Sanner - 417 S. King St., Seguin, TX 78155Click here for the full list of doctors. Currently, insurance does not cover medical cannabis.
Police place Cheetos traps in effort to catch 420 day participants
WYOMING, Minn. – April 20 has become synonymous with marijuana, with pot users commonly referring to it as 420 day. The Wyoming Police Department has decided to approach this subject with a little humor. On Thursday, the Wyoming Police Department posted several tweets, including an “undercover” operation aimed at trapping marijuana users with snacks and video games. #Happy420 pic.twitter.com/Jo8mh0Z5lQ — Wyoming (MN) Police (@wyomingpd) April 20, 2017Fun Fact: Unique cheeto shapes might make you rich. https://t.co/9LYychixly — Wyoming (MN) Police (@wyomingpd) April 20, 2017For information about the legislation regarding the legalization of medicinal marijuana in Texas, click here.
Could Bexar County be next to decriminalize marijuana?
SAN ANTONIO – In February, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg unveiled a new program that would decriminalize marijuana offenses in the county. The diversion program gives those caught with a misdemeanor amount of marijuana (4 ounces or less) the opportunity to take a course. Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood recently commented on the new Harris County program and if it’s a plan Bexar County is looking into. “After reviewing Harris County’s marijuana diversion program, I believe there are some unintended consequences in its long term use and it would not be beneficial to Bexar County as it is written. I have engaged in conversations with Chief (William) McManus and Sheriff (Javier) Salazar and will be organizing a meeting with County commissioners to discuss possibly implementing a program that would benefit Bexar County.”The Harris County policy went into effect March 1st.
San Antonio ‘medical refugees' relocate for legalized marijuana to aid son
SAN ANTONIO – They are called "medical refugees" -- families seeking asylum in other states to get access to medical marijuana. Vincent's parents took him to Colorado for a trial period to take advantage of the state's legalized medical marijuana. His parents gave him medical marijuana oil that was rolled onto his feet. He said they found the only thing that helps their children is medical marijuana. Read more about current and proposed legislationThe Walker family now live in Colorado and have obtained a medical marijuana license for Vincent.
Veterans ask Texas Legislature to pass medical marijuana bill
SAN ANTONIO – For the past couple of years, veterans have been heading to the Texas Capitol and testifying how medical marijuana helps their ailments. “We use cannabis for medical reasons, and we believe as veterans we’ve earned the right to use a medication that is safe and effective,” Dave Bass said. A retired Army veteran, Bass is now veterans outreach director for the Texas Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, a medical marijuana advocating group. Since 2013, Bass has gone to the Legislature to try to get bills passed to allow veterans to get access to medical cannabis. After getting arrested twice for possessing marijuana, Faulkner said he decided to move to Colorado so he would not face any further legal trouble.
What is Texas' existing medical marijuana law?
SAN ANTONIO – As the 85th Texas Legislature looks at legislation this year to decriminalize marijuana offenses and broaden medical marijuana, a law is already in place to allow the distribution of prescribed medical marijuana starting Sept. 1. Even though the act opens the door for those in need of medical marijuana, advocates say the bill has many limitations. retired neuropsychologist and medical marijuana advocate Dr. Lang Coleman said. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that gives users the "high" associated with the drug. CBD is also a marijuana extract with purported medical benefits, but does not give users a "high" feeling.