1. How does a patient qualify for the program?
Low-THC cannabis may be prescribed if:
- The patient is a permanent resident of Texas,
- The patient is diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, autism, cancer, epilepsy, an incurable neurodegenerative disease, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, a seizure disorder, or spasticity, and,
- The qualified physician determines the risk of the medical use of low-THC cannabis by a patient is reasonable in light of the potential benefit.
2. Will patients have to register with the state or pay a fee?
- No. Statute does not require patients to register or pay a fee.
- Patient information will be retained in the Compassionate Use Registry.
- A qualified physician will enter a patient's information into the Compassionate Use Registry.
3. Are there any age restrictions for low-THC Cannabis prescriptions?
- Statute places no limitations on the age of the patient.
- Patients under 18 may require a legal guardian.
4. Will I be able to bring my child from out-of-state to acquire low-THC cannabis in Texas?
Patients must be permanent Texas residents.
5. Will patients' legal guardians be able to pick up the order from a dispensing organization?
- Yes. Physicians will be required to document the names and last 5 of SSN of legal guardians in the Compassionate Use Registry.
- Patients or legal guardians will be required to show proof of identification to the dispensing organization.
6. Can you have a prescription from another state filled in Texas?
No, Texas Health and Safety Code §487.107 only authorizes the possession of low-THC cannabis that is obtained through a prescription issued by a physician registered with the CUP program and the dispensing of a prescription for a person listed as a patient in the Compassionate Use Registry.
7. Will patients be able to grow their own cannabis?
- No. Only licensed dispensers will be able to grow cannabis and only for use in the production of low-THC cannabis.
- Patients are required to purchase low-THC cannabis products from a licensed dispensing organization.
8. Will it be legal for patients to smoke low-THC cannabis?
No. Texas Occupations Code §169.001 specifically excludes smoking from the definition of "medical use."
9. What protections will patients and legal guardians have from criminal prosecution?
Texas Health and Safety Code §481.111(e) (1) provides exemptions from state laws prohibiting possession of marijuana for patients (and their legal guardians) for whom low-THC cannabis is prescribed under a valid prescription, and purchased from a licensed dispensing organization.
10. How do I get a prescription?
- The registered physician will enter a prescription in the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT) system.
- The patient or legal guardian will then have the ability to go to any of the dispensaries to have the prescription filled.
- The patient or legal guardian will need to provide identification and patient's last name, date of birth, and last 5 of social security number.
11. What should I do if my prescription is not found by the dispensing organization?
Ensure the dispensing organization entered the information correctly. If so, contact your doctor to ensure they entered the prescription information.
12. Who currently holds a license as a dispensing organization?
As of December 15, 2017, the department has issued three dispensing organization licenses:
- Fluent (formerly Cansortium Texas) was licensed on September 1, 2017.
- Compassionate Cultivation was licensed on October 31, 2017.
- Surterra Texas was licensed on December 15, 2017.
Contact information is under the FAQ's for dispensing organizations.
13. Will participation as a patient in the Compassionate Use Program (CUP) affect my eligibility for a Texas License to Carry a Handgun?
A patient’s participation in CUP does not, in itself, disqualify the individual from obtaining or maintaining a License to Carry (LTC). Notwithstanding that certain medical marijuana programs have been determined by the FBI to disqualify an individual from possessing firearms, the department does not believe this determination applies to Texas’ low-THC cannabis, Compassionate Use Program.
However, the individual’s underlying condition that is the basis for participation in CUP may under certain circumstances be disqualifying. If the medical condition potentially affects the individual’s ability to exercise sound judgment, the department may refer the matter to the Medical Advisory Board (DSHS) for their review and recommendation. Should the Board find the individual “incapable of exercising sound judgment with respect to the proper use and storage of a handgun,” the department would deny an application or revoke a current LTC.