At least three dispensaries selling CBD-based oils can set up shop in Texas under a new law that cannabis advocates are calling historic yet also deeply flawed.
The state’s governor signed a bill on Monday that allows patients to purchase CBD oil to treat severe forms of epilepsy.
The new law, which goes into effect on Sept. 1 of this year, requires the Texas Department of Public Safety to issue a minimum of three licenses to companies to grow cannabis, process it and sell it via dispensaries by the fall of 2017, provided there are at least three applicants that meet all the requirements.
Each dispensary will operate in a fashion similar to pharmacies, and only a neurologist or epileptologist will be able to prescribe CBD oil, according to the Texas Tribune.
But advocates fear the program could prove unworkable because the law requires a “prescription” for CBD oil.
Doctors are not legally allowed at the federal level to prescribe any form of cannabis, according to the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). In other states with medical marijuana laws, doctors “recommend” or certify patients for MMJ but are not required to give them an official prescription.
So it’s possible patients in Texas will be unable to obtain prescriptions for CBD oil under the current law.
Still, the fact that lawmakers in Texas, a state many figured would be among the last to even consider any form of cannabis legalization, recognize the medicinal value of CBD oil is historic, according to the MPP.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he still believes marijuana shouldn’t be legalized in Texas for recreational or medicinal purposes, and he insisted that signing the bill is not tantamount to his endorsement of legalized cannabis.