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Texas Senate gives final passage to medical marijuana expansion bill

The Texas Senate on Tuesday gave final approval to a bill expanding Texas’ medical marijuana program to include all forms of PTSD and cancer, though it underwent significant changes due to a committee substitute.

Despite soaring through the House with bipartisan support, the proposal appeared to be doomed as it headed into the final week of the session without a scheduled hearing. But, the Senate Committee on State Affairs on Monday brought up the proposal from Fort Worth Republican Rep. Stephanie Klick and quickly approved it with an 8-0 vote.

However, the bill didn’t get referred to the full Senate unscathed. As originally filed, the bill proposed an increase on the THC limit from .5% to 5%, but a committee substitute from Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, dropped the cap back down to 1%.

The substitute also notably opted to cut one group of Texans who were originally included in the proposed expansion: People experiencing chronic pain that would otherwise be treated with an opioid. Texans with PTSD and all forms of cancer are still included and would be added to the state’s medical use program if passed and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott. [Read more at The Dallas Morning News]

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