Texas Medical Marijuana

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What is Medical Marijuana in Texas?

Texas runs a Compassionate Care Program for persons who may have specific medical conditions. Medical cannabis in Texas refers to low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabis which must be prescribed by a physician. Medical marijuana refers to the forms of low THC which may be swallowed and not smoked. For a patient to qualify for the medical marijuana program, such person must be accessed by a state-approved physician, and the conditions suffered must be certified. Medical marijuana may be any part of the cannabis plant including the stalk and all other resulting compounds such as oils, derivatives, salts, etc. For a cannabis product to be approved for medical marijuana, it must contain no more than 1% of THC.

The state's Compassionate Care Program is administered by the Department of Public Safety. There was also the creation of a Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT) where physicians can record the details of approved qualifying patients and their prescriptions. Members of law enforcement, dispensary personnel, and other approved personnel may access the registry. The purchase and sale of low THC-approved medication are through CURT. Dispensary staff is to access the registry to confirm a qualifying patient's prescription and dispense drugs in compliance with the prescription.

Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Texas?

Yes, medical marijuana is legal in Texas. The state legalized medical marijuana in June 2015 through the Texas Compassionate Use Act contained in Chapter 487, Title 6 of the Texas Health and Safety Code. According to this Act, registered medical marijuana patients in Texas may use cannabis products containing less than 1% of tetrahydrocannabinol (low-THC cannabis). The state's medical marijuana program, the Texas Compassionate Use Program (CUP), is administered by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).

Who Can Get Medical Marijuana in Texas?

According to the Texas Compassionate Use Act, registered medical marijuana patients can legally obtain low-THC cannabis products from licensed dispensing organizations. Also, the parents or legal guardians of registered medical marijuana patients under 18 years may obtain low-THC cannabis products on behalf of their patients. Per Section 169.003 of the Texas Occupations Code, qualified physicians may prescribe low-THC cannabis to patients with any of the following medical conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Seizure disorder
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Autism
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Spasticity
  • Incurable neurodegenerative disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Can You Grow Medical Marijuana in Texas?

The provisions of the Texas Compassionate Use Act only permit licensed dispensing organizations to cultivate marijuana plants for the manufacture of low-THC cannabis products. Registered medical marijuana patients in Texas cannot grow marijuana plants at home.

Do You Need to See a Doctor to Get Medical Marijuana in Texas?

Yes. Per the Texas Compassionate Use Act, a person must consult with a physician licensed to recommend medical marijuana before obtaining low-THC cannabis at a dispensing organization. According to Section 169.002 of the Texas Occupations Code, a physician that prescribes low-THC cannabis to a patient must be qualified to treat the medical condition that qualifies the patient for medical marijuana treatment. Also, the physician must be registered in the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT). The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) provides the names and contact details of physicians qualified to recommend medical marijuana in the state. If a qualified physician diagnoses a patient with a severe medical condition, they may prescribe medical marijuana for the patient and enroll them in the CURT. Medical marijuana patients registered in the CURT system may legally obtain low-THC cannabis from licensed dispensing organizations in Texas.

Can a Minor Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Texas?

No, but only because Texas currently does not provide medical marijuana cards to anyone. There is no age limit for medical marijuana prescription in Texas. However, patients under the age of 18 will need approval from their parents or legal guardians to use medical marijuana. If a qualified physician recommends medical marijuana for a minor (person under 18), they will enter the name and social security number of the patient's parent or legal guardian into the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT).

How to Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Texas

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) administers the state's medical marijuana program. The Department does not issue physical medical marijuana identification cards to patients. To be registered as a medical marijuana patient under the Texas Compassionate Use Program (CUP), a person must see a physician qualified to recommend medical marijuana who may enroll them in the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT). Patients cannot register themselves in the CURT system.

Does Texas Allow Medical Marijuana Patients to Designate Caregivers?

There is no provision for caregivers under the Texas Compassionate Use Program (CUP). Therefore, registered medical marijuana patients in the state cannot designate caregivers to obtain low-THC cannabis products from dispensing organizations on their behalf. Nevertheless, the parents or legal guardians of registered medical marijuana patients under 18 years can purchase low-THC cannabis products from dispensing organizations for their patients.

What Is the Cost of a Texas Medical Marijuana Card?

Registration in the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT) is free. A patient only needs to provide their personal information to their physician, who will enter these details into the CURT system.

What Do You Need When Visiting a Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Texas?

A registered medical marijuana patient in Texas will need to provide government-issued photo identification at a dispensing organization in order to obtain low-THC cannabis. Also, the parents or legal guardians of medical marijuana patients under 18 years must provide valid government-issued identification and their patients' names, birth dates, and social security numbers before getting low-THC marijuana for them at dispensing organizations. Dispensing organizations check the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT) to confirm medical marijuana patients' identities and prescription information before dispensing low-THC cannabis to them.

How to Renew Your Texas Medical Marijuana Card

The Texas Compassionate Use Act does not specify how long a medical marijuana patient's registration under the Texas Compassionate Use Program (CUP) will last. A medical marijuana patient in Texas can obtain low-THC cannabis from any dispensing organization in the state, provided their physician enters their prescription in the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT).

Is it Possible to Overdose on Cannabis in Texas?

In Texas, overdosing on cannabis very unlikely and there have been no direct deaths thought to have been caused by an overdose of cannabis. An overdose is a situation wherein excess consumption of drugs results in death or extreme life-threatening situations.

Most users believe that there can be no overdose of cannabis. The Center For Disease Control reports that there have been no deaths solely linked to the consumption of cannabis. In spite of this it should be noted that although an overdose is unlikely, users might experience extreme side effects from the use of cannabis. Some of these adverse reactions could include paranoia, hallucinations, severe nausea, etc. n overdose is heightened when cannabis is consumed in addition to other substances.

One of the most common additions to cannabis is alcohol and it is also considered one of the most likely causes of a cannabis-related overdose. Alcohol enhances the body's consumption of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which may result in acute feelings of illness among some users.

Cannabis may also be combined with other drugs and may occasionally be laced or preserved using dangerous chemicals. Persons using marijuana particularly for medical purposes should endeavor to get supplies from any of the three licensed dispensaries within the state.

If I am Pregnant, Can I Use Cannabis to Relieve Nausea in Texas?

No, pregnant women cannot use cannabis to treat morning sickness in Texas. The validity of cannabis as a treatment for nausea is accepted in regards to certain illnesses. Nausea refers to a feeling of sickness in the stomach which or may not result in vomiting.

Studies have shown that cannabis might be useful in treating patients with chemotherapy-induced nausea. However, pregnant women are advised to abstain from the consumption of cannabis. For one, the CDC reports that the consumption of marijuana while pregnant is likely to impair the development of the child subsequently. Some of the impacts on the child could include low baby weight, reduced learning capacity, and slower cognition.

The use of cannabis may also impair the mother's judgment and adversely affect her ability to cater to her child. Consequently, physicians do not prescribe cannabis for pregnant women.

Texas Medical Marijuana