Yes. State Bill 339 (Texas Compassionate Use Act) requires marijuana growers to obtain licenses to operate in Texas. Although restrictive, Governor Greg Abbott approved State Bill 339 in July 2015, legalizing medical marijuana. As stipulated in the bill, prospective medical marijuana cultivators must obtain dispensary organization licenses from the Texas Department of Public Safety. Chapter 487, Section 001 of the Health and Safety Code defines dispensary organizations as establishments licensed to grow, manufacture, and dispense medical cannabis to registered patients. In Texas, only holders of dispensary organization licenses are permitted to grow medical marijuana.
A dispensary organization license is the only license that allows Texas residents to cultivate medical marijuana. The Texas Compassionate Use Act does not specify the sizes of cannabis farms. However, the Texas Department of Public Safety inspects proposed locations for cannabis dispensary organizations, including their cultivation areas.
It is unlawful to grow cannabis in Texas without a license. As stipulated in State Bill 339, only persons with dispensary organization licenses can legally cultivate medical cannabis in the state. According to Chapter 487, Section 151 of the Health and Safety Code, all staff of dispensary organizations must be at least 18 years old and register with the Texas Department of Public Safety. Also, felons are prohibited from working in dispensary organizations.
According to Chapter 487, Section 102 of the Health and Safety Code, the Texas Department of Public Safety considers applications for dispensing organization licenses based on the following criteria:
As provided in Chapter 487, Section 103 of the Health and Safety Code, when applying for licenses with the Department of Public Safety, prospective dispensary organization owners must do the following:
Pay their application fees in line with Title 37 §12.14 of the Texas Administrative Code.
Submit their application forms: Applicants must download and complete the Dispensing Organization Application Form. On the form, they must state:
Provide the following documents:
Exhibit A - Proof of ownership documentation, as stated in[Title 37 §12.11(b)(1) of the Texas Administrative Cod). The required documents include a certificate of good standing from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and a certificate of authority or certificate of existence from the Secretary of State.
Exhibit B - Applications for managers, directors, and other employees of the proposed establishment, as provided in Title 37 §12.12 and §12.11(b) (3)-(5) of the Texas Administrative Code. Applicants must submit the following for each manager, employee, and director of the facility:
Documents necessary to verify their identities (names, addresses, and birth dates)
Criminal background disclosure, including any deferred adjudication and conviction
State-issued identification numbers or driver's licenses
Any license applicant who fails to meet these requirements will be issued a notification of deficiency. They will have 90 days from the notification date to respond to the deficiency and provide the essential information. However, on applicants' request, the Department can extend the period for addressing application deficiencies by an additional 90 days. The Department of Public Safety will terminate any application from applicants who fail to address deficiencies within the allowed period.
Exhibit C - Proof of the company's liability insurance against third-party claims of property damage, product liability, and bodily injury, as provided in Title 37 §12.11(b)(6) of the Texas Administrative Code. The applicant must purchase insurance with at least $1 million coverage for each liability claim and: * $1 million product liability limit * $2 million general aggregate limit
Exhibit D - Proof of application fee payment as stated in Title 37 §12.14 of the Texas Administrative Code
Exhibit E - Proof that the applicant can secure the resources, employees, and premises for operating the facility, in line with the provisions of Title 37 §12.11(b)(7) (B) of the Texas Administrative Code. The applicant must:
Exhibit F - Proof that the proposed dispensary organization can account for and maintain records of all marijuana byproducts, raw materials, and finished products, in line with Title 37 §12.11(b)(7)(C) of the Texas Administrative Code, to prevent diversion. Applicants must provide the following concerning the facility:
Exhibit G - Proof that the applicant has sufficient financial resources to operate the proposed dispensary organization for at least two years from the application date as provided in Title 37 §12.11(b)(7) (E) of the Texas Administrative Code. The applicant must:
Exhibit H - Proof of the applicant's technical knowledge in medical marijuana cultivation, processing, and dispensing, as provided in Title 37 §12.11(b)(7)(A) of the Texas Administrative Code. The applicant must provide documentation proving their experience in:
Exhibit I - Proof that the facility's location can allow for the dispensing of medical marijuana to registered medical marijuana patients, in line with the provisions of Title 37 §12.11(b)(7)(D) of the Texas Administrative Code. The applicant must include:
Applicants should submit completed forms, Exhibits, and attachments electronically to the Texas Department of Public Safety. The Department reviews applications and scores them based on the scoring criteria. Applicants can review the Department's application checklist to ensure their applications are complete.
If an application is approved, the applicant must pay a license fee to obtain the dispensary organization license. However, if an application is denied, the applicant can file for a hearing, as stipulated in Chapter 487, Section 104(b) of the Health and Safety Code. The Department of Public Safety must issue the applicant a written notice stating the grounds of denial, at least thirty days before the hearing date.
According to Title 37 §12.14 of the Texas Administrative Code, the Department will regard any application as incomplete if the applicable fees are unpaid. If the application fee or license fee payment is reversed or dishonored before the prospective dispensary organization owner is issued a license, the Department will reject the application. However, if the payment is reversed or dishonored after the applicant is issued a license, the Department will initiate a revocation as stipulated in Title 37 §12.23 of the Texas Administrative Code. Nevertheless, if the applicant eventually pays their complete fees, the Department will dismiss the revocation proceeding.
As stipulated in Title 37 §12.14 of the Texas Administrative Code, the costs of obtaining and maintaining dispensing organization licenses in Texas are:
Texas issues only one type of license for medical marijuana businesses; the dispensary organization license. Holders of dispensary organization licenses are authorized to cultivate, produce, and dispense medical marijuana.