Texas Medical Marijuana Program Rules Open for Public Comment

By: Health Care Innovation Team

The rules governing the Texas Compassionate Use Program (TCUP) are currently under review, and public comments are being accepted through May 1, 2022. The Department of Public Safety (DPS), which is the state agency that oversees TCUP, is reviewing the rules to determine if they are obsolete, reflect current legal and policy considerations, and reflect current procedures of the department.

Any proposed changes will be published for additional review and comment in the future. Though the rules are under review, DPS has stated there are no current plans to open the dispensing organization licensing application process. Requirements such as the 1% THC cap, the listed qualifying conditions, and the ban on medical cannabis for smoking are all prescribed by law and thus not subject to review.

Submitting Comments

DPS is required by law to review its rules as written every four years, and this review must include an assessment of whether the reasons for initially adopting the rule continue to exist. Currently, there are a number of rules eligible for revising that impact physicians, patients, licensees and ancillary businesses, and we encourage stakeholders to consider submitting comments on any of the rules relevant to their interests. These rules are outlined in Chapter 12, Part 1, Title 37 of the Texas Administrative Code.

While significant rule changes may not be on the immediate horizon, it is important lawmakers and regulators have a written record of public response to TCUP and the needs of patients, physicians, license applicants and licensees. Typically, comments will be summarized and responded to publicly by DPS. This opportunity does not come around often and is critical for effecting change through transparent, public processes and grassroots advocacy.

Tips and Strategies

We have compiled an overview of the rules subject to public comment at this time and flagged specific areas where the language is unclear or may be problematic if applied in its current state. For those wishing to submit comments, check out the full-length version of this article to get a list of tips and strategies, as well as a recommended letter format, to facilitate the submission process.

Again, the deadline to submit comments is May 1, 2022. If you would like help crafting comments, please contact Andrea Steel or Hannah Johannes of Frost Brown Todd’s Health Care Innovation Team.

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