How Do You Get Medical Marijuana in Texas – A Step-by-Step Guide

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Texas is historically known for its stringent laws regarding marijuana. However, the state has seen recent shifts in attitudes toward its medical usage. While still not as liberal as some other states, Texas has made strides in legalizing medical marijuana for specific conditions. Accessing medical marijuana in the state involves dealing with a complex system of laws, regulations, and medical protocols.

If you find yourself on the other side of the law in terms of marijuana usage, consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to come up with a legal strategy to fight the charges.

Medical Marijuana Laws in Texas

Texas has legalized the use of medical marijuana under the Compassionate Use Program (CUP). Enacted in 2015, CUP allows patients with certain qualifying conditions to access low-THC cannabis oil. The product should contain no more than 0.5% THC and at least 10% CBD. However, you need to work with a qualified physician who can prescribe medical cannabis to gain access to medicinal marijuana.

How to Get Medical Cannabis in Texas – Qualifying Medical Conditions

Qualifying for medical marijuana in Texas requires you to have one or more of the following conditions:

  • Spasticity
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Autism
  • Incurable neurodegenerative diseases
  • Terminal cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Other seizure disorders
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

There are other conditions under the Texas medical marijuana program. Consult a knowledgeable attorney to learn more about Texas medical marijuana prescription and obtaining medical marijuana cards. Doctors are only allowed to prescribe low-THC cannabis to qualifying patients, including those with chronic pain and no treatment alternative.

Application Process to Obtain Medical Marijuana in Texas Under CUP

Patients, caregivers, and medical marijuana doctors must all be registered with the Texas Compassionate Use Registry (CURT) to participate in CUP. You must establish a bona fide relationship with a registered physician in Texas. They will provide a medical marijuana prescription for low-THC cannabis oil after assessing your condition. This recommendation will specify the dosage, frequency, and duration of treatment based on your needs.

You may receive a prescription for low-THC medical cannabis if you meet the following conditions:

  • You are a permanent Texas resident.
  • You are diagnosed with one of the qualifying medical conditions.
  • The prescribing physician is registered with the Compassionate Use Program (CUP).

These are a few steps involved in the process of obtaining a medical cannabis prescription:

Registration with the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT)

The physician will enter your information into CURT, which serves as the central database for tracking patients, caregivers, physicians, and dispensaries involved in the Texas compassionate use program. You will receive a unique identification number (UID) that allows you to access medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries.

Dispensary Access and Purchase for Medical Cannabis in Texas

Once registered within the CURT system, you can legally purchase and possess low-THC cannabis oil from a licensed dispensary in Texas. Patients must present their UID and valid identification when purchasing medical marijuana from dispensaries. There is no age limit for prescriptions in the Lone Star State. However, patients under the age of 18 with a treatment plan may require a legal guardian to consent.

Legal Considerations and Restrictions for Medical Marijuana Use

While medical marijuana use is legal under the Compassionate Use Program in Texas, patients still need to adhere to state laws and regulations. 

These include:

  • Only patients with qualifying conditions are allowed to access low-THC cannabis products.
  • The patient should be a permanent resident. Out-of-state patients are not allowed to purchase or possess marijuana under Texas law even if it is for medical use.
  • The oil must contain no more than 0.5% THC and at least 10% CBD.
  • Patients should obtain a prescription from a registered physician.
  • Patients, medical marijuana doctors, and dispensaries need to be registered with the Texas Compassionate Use Registry (CURT).
  • A medical marijuana prescription in Texas can only be filled from licensed dispensaries authorized to participate in the CUP through a valid cannabis prescription.
  • Home cultivation of marijuana is prohibited, and patients must adhere to state and federal laws regarding possession and use.

Possession or use of marijuana outside of the CUP parameters remains illegal and can result in legal consequences. For instance, under the Texas Compassionate Use Act, smoking cannabis and other recreational use is still illegal.

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Consequences of Violating the Rules of the Compassionate Use Program

Criminal Charges

In more serious cases, individuals may face criminal charges for violating state marijuana laws. Penalties for marijuana-related offenses in Texas can include fines, probation, and even imprisonment, depending on the circumstances.

Civil Penalties

Violating the rules of the CUP may result in civil penalties, such as fines or sanctions imposed by the Texas Department of Public Safety or other regulatory agencies overseeing the program.

Loss of Program Participation

Many patients who violate the rules of CUP lose their eligibility to participate in the program. This could result in the loss of access to medical marijuana prescriptions and other benefits afforded to participants in the program. This holds true for patients eligible for a medical marijuana card through a CURT-registered physician.

Professional Consequences

Healthcare providers, including your medical cannabis doctor and dispensary operator, who violate the rules of the CUP may face professional consequences, such as license suspension or revocation, disciplinary action, or loss of privileges to prescribe or dispense medical marijuana.

Choose a Dedicated Texas Medical Marijuana Lawyer to Protect Your Rights

At Tisdell Law Firm, our experienced drug defense attorneys in Texas understand the gravity of drug-related charges and the impact they can have on your life. With over 20 years of combined experience defending clients facing drug offenses, we have developed a reputation in this field of law. Our attorneys will pursue an aggressive defense strategy to have your charges dismissed or reduced. To schedule your free consultation, call us at (806) 352-4844 or fill out this online contact form.