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growing medical cannabis in texas

"It’s going to be fiercely competitive," said Enriquez.

The Texas Association of Business isn’t convinced there’s a boom on the horizon. In a statement they told us, "The Texas Association of Business does not perceive this limited application of low-THC prescriptions as having an immediate, notable financial impact on the Texas economy."

Hans Enriquez works at Lazy Daze Cafe in Austin. He was one of the 43 who applied, and was denied in 2017. Now that the state’s medical marijuana program has been expanded to serve more patients, he’s going to apply again.

Two years ago, 43 applicants applied to legally grow marijuana for medical purposes in Texas, but only three were granted a license. Now, the state will open up the application process again.

AUSTIN, Texas – More Texas patients now have access to medical cannabis since the state expanded the Compassionate Use Act last session. That’s led to more businesses wanting to get on board with hemp production.

"We received a letter from DPS that we do not have to start the whole process over, so really it’s going to take a little revisions and our application is still pending with DPS," Enriquez said.

Enriquez is seeing green though, in more ways than one, and says many others are, too.

"You know, an influx of work and labor and potential jobs for a lot of people," said Enriquez.

Enriquez hopes his would-be growing operation, Craft Harvest, will help to boost the Texas economy.

Growing medical cannabis in texas

It’s not that radical of an idea to allow DSHS to evaluate and add medical conditions to the state’s medical marijuana registry. In fact, it’s something that was included in the version of the bill the House passed.

The law also doubled the THC limit allowable under the program from 0.5% to 1%. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the ingredient in marijuana that can produce a psychological effect.

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“It’s arguable that any form of cancer could be terminal, right? So it felt like a very arbitrary descriptor,” said Jax Finkel, the executive director of Texas NORML, a national organization seeking to legalize marijuana.

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But the Senate ultimately decided to remove that provision, too.

And while HB 1535 increases THC levels and expands the number of people who qualify for the program, lawmakers once again chose to move the program forward only by baby steps.

That would have increased the limit tenfold. Still, some of the Texans who testified that they already self-medicate with illegal marijuana said it was too low.

She said people dealing with the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy shouldn’t have to worry about whether their fight against cancer is dire enough to warrant medical relief from cannabis oil.

Legislators in the House agreed to the 5% THC limit, but the Senate cut it back to only 1%.

The Express-News got a behind-the-scenes look at TOCC’s operation.

Frame by Frame

No tour of TOCC would be complete without passing by the Hall of Honor with framed posters of patients whose lives were changed by its products. More than a dozen success stories illustrate the importance of medical marijuana and remind employees about the importance of their work, says CEO Morris Denton.

Experience San Antonio through exceptional photojournalism.

Just outside of Austin sits Texas Original Compassion Cultivation. Founded in 2017, it’s one of the state’s three medical marijuana facilities, where cannabis is grown and turned into medical cannabis products for patients across Texas. While the outside of the building looks like a non-descript warehouse, inside dozens of employees work to bring alternative medical relief to Texans suffering from chronic medical symptoms.