Thanks to you and the millions who support cannabis law reform in our state, 2019 was a year of historic progress!
HEMP: State and federal legalization of hemp! This plant is not only valuable therapeutically, but there’s a huge market opening up for Texas farmers and entrepreneurs. Rules and regulations are still be developed, but legal hemp will soon be grown and sold in Texas!
MEDICAL CANNABIS: Expanded access to the Compassionate Use Program!
The program is still unreasonably restrictive, but as of 2019, more patients have access to medical cannabis being cultivated, processed, and sold in dispensaries right here in Texas. Patients deserve access to full spectrum cannabis and we will keep fighting!
MARIJUANA PENALTY REDUCTION:For the first time, the Texas House approved a bill to reduce penalties for low-level marijuana possession! The bill passed with bipartisan support and was backed by the governor, but didn’t get a vote in the Senate (thanks to Lt. Governor Dan Patrick). We have nearly a year to influence him and earn his support in 2021!
STATEWIDE IMPACT: Because of shifting laws and public opinion, Texas state police (DPS) and law enforcement in all metro areas are now issuing citations for marijuana possession, rather than making arrests.
ENCOURAGING NEWS: Just last week, Governor Greg Abbott pardoned two Texans who had lived many years with marijuana convictions! Now, with a clean record, these individuals may be able to further education, get a good paying job, and attain safe housing. Hopefully, they are the first of many pardoned for the-never-shoulda-been-a-crime of marijuana possession.
To make all of this possible (and thanks entirely to your support!), we worked with our allies to host training events, educational exhibits, lobby days, press conferences, and the second annual Texas Marijuana Policy Conference. We put together resource materials for lawmakers, worked with their staff, and pushed hard for votes on important bills. We’ve earned statewide media coverage and put a professional foot forward to advance our shared cause.
Let’s keep up our momentum and utilize 2020 as an opportunity to set ourselves up for success when the legislature convenes in January 2021!