Poll: 71% of Texans support legalizing medical marijuana

Texas could become one of the next big cannabis markets, if state lawmakers listen to their constituents and a growing number of businesspeople interested in the trade.

To bolster that possibility, a whopping 71% of Texans back expanding medical cannabis availability (it’s currently legal only for those with epilepsy) to help more patients, according to a new poll.

The soonest that could happen, however, would be 2017, since the Texas Legislature doesn’t convene in 2016. But when it does reconvene next January, Colorado cannabis attorney Brian Vicente thinks there’s an excellent chance lawmakers will pass an updated law that could open up the state to the MMJ industry.

“There’s a real feeling that Texas will follow the trend we’ve seen in other states, where you pass a limited medical law, the sky doesn’t fall, then you pass a broader medical law,” Vicente said. “I think a lot of people see the writing on the wall.”

The current law, as written, is basically useless because it requires any patient to obtain a prescription for MMJ. That won’t happen because of marijuana’s status as a federally illegal narcotic, so the law is purely symbolic.

Nevertheless, Vicente said his office has been fielding “dozens” of calls from Texans eager to explore business opportunities in their home state. If that pressure is brought to bear at the state Capitol, Texas could prove fertile ground for cannabis entrepreneurs.