The Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced this week that, in anticipation of an increase in demand for low-THC cannabis, they will reopen the application process for dispensing organization licenses on October 1, 2019. Applications will be accepted through November 1, 2019.
The Texas Compassionate Use Program (T.CUP) was established in 2015, providing access to low-THC (.5%) cannabis for those with intractable epilepsy. Earlier this year, the Texas Legislature expanded access to T.CUP by adding the following qualifying conditions: all seizure and epilepsy disorders, multiple sclerosis, terminal cancer, incurable neurodegenerative diseases, ALS, and autism.
Despite efforts to remove the arbitrary cap on THC, lawmakers chose to continue limiting dosing options for doctors and patients. And, sadly, most patients are still being left behind without legal access to medical cannabis.
DPS is in charge of the program’s rules and regulations, which are maintained by the Public Safety Commission (five members appointed by the governor). Currently, three businesses are licensed to cultivate, manufacture, and dispense low-THC cannabis. Licensing fees for approved businesses are outrageously high — nearly $500,000 for the first two years and more than $300,000 every two years for renewal. (There may be a chance for a change in this licensing cost. More on this soon.)