The Texas Compassionate Use Act (Senate Bill 339) was enacted by the Texas Legislature in 2015 (84th Legislative Session). The bill requires DPS to create a secure registry of physicians who treat epilepsy for the purpose of prescribing low-THC cannabis to patients who have been diagnosed with intractable epilepsy. In addition, the bill requires DPS to license at least three dispensing organizations by Sept. 1, 2017. The license will authorize the organizations to cultivate, process and dispense low-THC cannabis to prescribed patients.
The department accepted applications for dispensing organization licenses from March 1, 2017 through March 31, 2017. The department received 43 applications.
The department formed a review panel comprised of eight department employees to review, evaluate, and score the applications. The reviewers scored the applications based on the point allocations provided on the Applicant Checklist. Each reviewer was assigned a specific portion of the application, based on the reviewer's expertise and rated that area 0 through 3.* Each item was assigned a weight in order to produce a score on a 100 point scale, see Sample Scoring Matrix. The rating works as a percentage: A 0 = 0% of the weighted score, 1 = 33% of the weighted score, 2 = 66% of the weighted score and 3 = 100% of the weighted score. All 3's would give a total of 100. As an illustration, if the weight for an item is 2 and the reviewer rated the applicant's material a 1, the weighted score would be 33% of 2, or .66. The weighted scores for all items were added together and the applicants were ranked, see Compassionate Use Final Scores. One of the 43 applicants was disqualified. This applicant was not given a score.
*0 = applicant provided no information relating to requirement, 1 = applicant provided some detail but it is insufficient to enable assessment, 2 = applicant provided sufficient information and partially meets the requirements, and 3 = applicant provided sufficient information and fully meets the requirements.
The department has conditionally approved for licensure the top three scoring applicants. They are (1) Cansortium Texas; (2) Compassionate Cultivation; and (3) Surterra Texas. These applicants are now subject to onsite inspection requirements and shall submit payment in full of the license fee upon final departmental approval. The department has determined that the top three applicants provided sufficient information to indicate that should those three applicants receive a license as a dispensing organization, those applicants would ensure reasonable statewide access to and availability of low-THC cannabis for patients registered in the compassionate-use registry as required by the Texas Compassionate Use Act.
The department will now move forward with the onsite inspection of the facilities of the top three applicants to determine whether these three applicants will be issued dispensing organization licenses.
Should a conditionally approved applicant fail to complete the requirements for licensure, or decline to pursue the license, the next highest scoring qualified applicant will be conditionally approved and an onsite inspection conducted to determine if that applicant satisfies all requirements and provides the necessary statewide access to and availability of low-THC cannabis for patients registered in the compassionate-use registry. The department will continue to review the scored applicants accordingly.
Contact information for the 3 conditionally approved dispensing organizations can be found on the FAQ page under Dispensing Organizations.